The Factol's Manifesto (AD&D Planescape Accessory) 0786901411, 9780786901418

The Factol's Manifesto "This volume's outlawed in the Cage, berk - it's a crime just to own it. 

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English Pages 170 Year 1995

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The Factol's Manifesto (AD&D Planescape Accessory)
 0786901411, 9780786901418

Table of contents :
Introduction......Page 3
Athar......Page 9
Believers of the source......Page 17
Blear Cabal......Page 27
Doomguard......Page 39
The Dustmen......Page 49
Fated......Page 59
Fraternity of Order......Page 69
Free League......Page 79
Harmonium......Page 89
Mercy Killers......Page 101
Revolutionary League......Page 113
Sign of One......Page 121
Society of Sensation......Page 131
Transcendent Order......Page 143
Xausitects......Page 151

Citation preview





Being an accounting, covertly Researched under Fear of Death, of the various Factions, their Leaders, and their Headquarters in the Cage.



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .2

A fair warning to the R ATHAR. . . . . . ........................ W h o claim the Gods are Frauds. BELIEVERS OF THE SOURCE ..........



. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .38

--'obrate Destruction and Decay.



. .48


Who believe we're already Dead.



ey can, and More. . . . . . . . . . . ..68 LmLL,L,.,w OF ORDER........ Who discover Laws to get a t the Truth.

FREELEAGUE............. ............. 78 Who prize the Individual above All. H A K M O W

Who enforce Peace through Might. MEKCWERS .................... Who bring Justice to the Desming. REVOLLITIONAKY LEAGUE ............. Who topple the Structures of Power. SIGNOF ONE ........................... ,120 Who place each Being at the Center of All. S o c a t OF SENSATION .................... ,130 Whofind Truth only in Expm'ence. TUNSCENDENI ORDER..................... ,142 Who act before they Think - qthey Think at I XAosmcrs ............................. 150 Who spread Beauty through Chaos.

CR8 D I .E S Design: Don Jean Hein, Tim Beach, and J.M. S a l s h w Editing: Ray Vallese and Sue Weinlein Project Manager: Andria Hayday Cover and Interior Art: DiTerlizzi Cartography: Diesel Conceptual Art and Elevational Views: Dana Knutson .-= rnnrrlinltnrPanl laouavs +Art Coordinator: Peggy Cooper








Special thanks to Monte Cook, Valerie Vallese, and especially to L. Richard Baker llI, whose article in DRAGON.Magazine Issue 213 introduced new ranks and benefits.

- .- ..- ._


Listen up, berk, ’cause I’m only going to tell it once. The book you’re holding is banned - outlawed by the Guvners, confiscated by the Hardheads, and burned by the Red Death whenever theyfind a copy. Fact is, the only factions who sanctioned this work were the Anarchists and the lndeps - and even they panned it once they discovered their own darks on display. Read at your o Who am Z? Your bestfriend, V i t ’ s the truth you’re seeking, but I’m not barmy enough to tell you my name. Plenty of bloods lost their lives to help create this work. a masterviece amona faction literature. Sure, there are other “underground”tomes about Sigils philosophers. The Fated have their Secret History of Sigil, the Sensates their Kamahexotica, and the Signers their Cvclouaedia Imagica -just to 6 r m m e three. But such F volumes were created by and for a given faction’s members, not for readers at large. And their so-called truths are tainted by the authors’ views. This volume, on the other hand, d represents an objective expose of all the factions at once, laying each one bare to the eyes of any berk who’s brave enough to look. ’Course, that‘s not what my researchers told their subjects, which is why this book is banned. It took an entire cast of able contributors - many of them Anarchist spies posing as other faction members - to compile the information herein. They claimed to be working solely for their faction’s interests, and used every ounce ofjink and guile availablefor the cause. F i s book is respectfilly dedicated to those who came up short.) SAY. +HA+ AI”+ A c@PY You might assume that I too am an Anarchist, or a Guvner turned THEf A C T e L ’ S mANIfESTe, stag, and doubt the content of thesepages. That’s your loss, sod. Truth is all, and I’m a stickler for it. How ironic that its pursuit signed my k, S@D? death warrant. See, I had to verii every submission to ensure this tome is* WeRDS would serve its purpose. So I employed the services of a creoSAID +O turefree of faction allegiance: the arcanoloth spy called SheULAV + H E U N f e R + U N A + E meshko the Marauder(it‘s with no littlepleasure thatIexpose her name here). Naturally herfee was steep to begin aAh. Then she m.ed to up the ante, threatening blackmail. When I @sed her ploy, she slipped o copy of my masterwork to the Mercykillers. Now one of their highup bloodhounds has been ceremonially bound to my trail. Giving the Red Death the laugh will take every resource I have left - and VIfail, I could be swingingfrom the leajless tree or feeding the Wyrm before you even read this. It won’t matter, so long as you believe. My goal is none other than the continued safely of Si@. I claim complete neutrality in the matter, though I’ll confess one fervent opinion: The Anarchists aren’t far off when they say greed and corruption form the underpinnings of the establishment. While some factions spin a web of self-serving secrecy, others openly strive for greater power. By exposing the heart of their philosophies and plans, this tome may help maintain precious balance. My detractors ass& that such aspirations are not only dangerous butpresumptuow. But the Lady herselfencountered me in the midst of my work, late one eve after I’d met with Shemeshka in the Hive. Z escaped the Lady’s glittering “I






and break the laws of the city, each with its own philosophy about the multiverse and what it means. Things used to be a lot more confusing back when 50 or so factions roame the Cage. However, in the Great Upheaval some 630 years ago, the Lady mandated that there be only 15 factions to end the needless chaos of conflicting interest groups. (Lletails af the Upheaval are recounted in the chapter on the Free League. - Ed.) Fuctol’s Manifesto expands the faction material in the PLANESCAPE” Campaign Setting, supplementing A Player’s Guide to the Planes. This tome offers revelations about each group’s history and future plans, an expos6 of the factol (the high-up in charge), an introduction to useful nonplayer

sensitive areas, the Dungeon Master @MI has final say on how much any player character (PC) knows for sure. such as how alignment, class, and race shape individual roles, and how rank and commitment to the group can add to character benefits. Finally, The Factol’s Manifests presents current chant about each facti tivities, plus new darks for the DM. The chant’s rarely common knowledge. tion headquarters or neighboring kips. The rumors might be false, but m

secret information as they see fit. So players, don’t read it - and don’t count on fiting from its content if you’re a soddin’ cheat who reads it anyhow.

FACLEIeN HI€RARCHI@S+ Not every faction has an official hierarchy, but residents of Sigil recogniz basic categories that apply to most groups. From the lowest rank to the b these categories are as follows: Namers wear the colors of their faction while avoiding much involvem

taverns), hut neither will they risk life and limb in a simple dispute. A namer can us to a high-up’s request, but it’s not likely he’ll be asked again,nor rise beyond the rank of namer. Factotums are full-time factioneers. They regard official faction business as their primary employment. The most visible factotums act as guides and messengers in Si@, but many more sewe their factol as soldiers and scholars, diplomats or enforcers, or even spies and knights of the post. Unlike namers [almost expected to balk at life-tbreatening missions), factotums can handle ’most any order from a high-up. Usually, the factotum receives the necessary tools to complete the job, too: Factions look after their devoted members. Factors are the high-ups of the factions. They govern strongholds and oversee operations spawned by the factol’s policy. Factor councils often control most of a given faction’s affiirs, especially day-to-day business. Few members attain this rank. Furthermore, some factors pretend to have a lower stature when such a subterfuge suits the faction’s [or factol’s) cause.

The highest rank, of course, isfactol (leader of the faction). Most factols were factors before ascending to the top of the pyramid, hut occasionally a popular factotum can seize control. Factols wield great power; the sod who crosses one might end up in the dead-hook. These leaders have the resources of their factions at their fingertips; hesides commanding devoted followers, they can supplement their personal equipment with faction assets whenever the need or desire strikes them. Note that two factions have no official leader: the Free League (Indeps) and the Revolutionary League (Anarchists). ’Course, it should go without saying that the Clueless (Outsiders) have no facto1 either. Namers gain the faction benefits introduced in A Ployer’s Guide to the Planes. Higher-ranking members may acquire further advantages, as detailed under ‘Within the Ranks” in upcoming chapters. Due to space constraints, NF’C descriptions in this hook do not itemize standard abilities and equipment. Consult “Within the Ranks” and A Player’s Guide to the Planes for a list of faction benefits. The Player’s Handbook and DUNGEONMASTEPGuide describe standard race and class abilities.

Anarchists claim that most factions accept anyone who shows up with a hit ofjink and a promise to toe the line (or not to, if a body’s looking to he a Xaositect). Fact is, unless the Free League’s involved, becoming a memher’s not that simple. Sure, anybody can declare allegiance to a faction. Talks cheap, and the streets are filled with loud-mouthed urchins who change their colors every other week. No one takes ’em seriously. At the DMs option, frue name= - entry-level members welcome at b faction headquarters and wielding basic fact tion ahilitis - should W H I C H FAC-I-IfBN he recognized by a factotum sponsor. PAYS B E S + ? The lint step toward that I U S + ANe+HER recognition is embracing the group’s philosophy. Actions c L E L 8 S S P RI E speak louder than words, so a cutter should live the creed a while, trying it on for size. If his actions seem questionable, the factotum might arrange a mission to test the namer’s devotion. Rituals sometimes mark the advancement from namer to factotum (see details in each chapter) hut are more common for promotions to higher ranks. As stated in the Campaign Setting, every planar PC starts out with a faction, and Clueless primes must declare their philosophy in due time. To add depth, a player m a t ing a PC background should invent a sponsor - someone who has vouched for the character’s readiness to join the





chosen faction. The sponsorship might he as informal as procuring some happy hubher’s endorsement, hut having “friends in low places” won’t help much in the future. With the DMs approval (and perhaps a side adventure), a PC can side with a factotum whose name carries more weight ’round headquarters. After choosing a faction, it’s not easy for a cutter to switch without losing face. Except for the Indeps (who don’t see themselves as a faction anyhow), factions don’t take kindly to the fickle-hearted. Once the words out that a sod can’t make up his mind about things, folks question his loyalty - unless he’s abandoned the gods (in which case the Athar might take him in), or he’s decided all the other factions should he broken apart (in whicb case the Anarchists might acqniesce).


A+ A


Designed to help the Clueless peruse their options, this section offers a shorthand description of all 15 established philosophies. ATHAR (DEFIERS,LOST) Philosophy: The gods are frauds; the unknowable huth lies beyond the veil. Fuctol: Terrance. Sigil HQ: Shattered Temple (Lower Ward). Home Field: Astral. Allies: Believers of the Source. Enemies: BELIEVERS OF THE SOURCE (GODSMEN) Philosophy: All life springs from the same divine source, ascending and descending in form as the cosmos tests it. Fuctol: Amhar Vergrove. Sigil HQ: Great Foundry (Lower Ward). Home Field: Ethereal demiplanes. Allies: Athar, Doomguard (temporary ally). Enemies: Bleak Cabal, Dusbnen.

BLEAKCABAL(BEAKERS, THE CABAL, MADMEN) Philosophy: The multiverse ain’t supposed to make sense; there’s no grand scheme, no deep meaning, no elusive order. The only truth worth finding lies within. Factol: Lhar. Sigil HQ:The Gatehouse (HiveWard). Home Field: Pandemonium. Allies: Doomguard, Dustmen, Revolutionary League Enemies: Fraternity of Order, Harmonium, Mercykill DOOMGUARD (SINKERS) Philosophy: Entropy is ecstasy; decay is divine. The verse is supposed to fall apart. We’re just here to keep leatherheads from interfering. Factol: Pentar. ,

,..~~,.. , *& . Home Field: Each negative quasiplane. Allies: Bleak Cabal, Dustmen. Enemies: Fraternity of Order, Harmonium.



DUSTMEN(THEDEAD) Philosophy: We’re all dead - some more so than others. So, we explore our current state with patience, purge our passion, and ascend toward the purity of True Death. Factol: Skall. Sigil HQ: Mortuary (Hive Ward). Home Field: Negative Energy Plane. Allies: Bleak Cabal, Doomguard. Enemies: Society of Sensation, Sign of One. FATED (TAKERS, HEARTLESS) Philosophy: The multiverse belongs to those who seize i t No one’s to blame for a poor sods fate but the sorry sod himself. Factol: Duke Rowan Darkwood. Sigil HQ: Hall of Records (Clerk’s Ward). Home Field: Ysgard. Allies: Free League, Mercykillers (loosely). Enemies: Harmonium.

FRATERNITY OF ORDER (GUVNERS) Philosophy: Everything has laws; most are dark. Learn the laws of the multiverse and you can rule it. Fuctol: Hasbkar. Sigil HQ: City Court (The Lady’s Ward). Home Field: Mechanus. Allies: Mercykillers, Harmonium. Enemies: Xaositects, Revolutionary League. FREELEAGUE(INDEPS) Philosophy: This ain’t no faction, and nobody tells us what to do. Keep your options open; nobody’s got the key to the truth. Factol: None. Sigil HQ: Great Bazaar (Market Ward). Home Field: Outlands. Allies: Fated (sometimes). Enemies: Harmonium. (HARDHEADS) Philosophy: Peace is our goal. But if it takes a little war to get others to set things right, the Harmonium way, so be it. That’s how we’ll reach our golden harmony. Factol: Sarin. Sigil HQ: City Barracks (The Lady’s Ward]. Home Field: Arcadia. Allies: Guvners, Mercykillers. Enemies: Iudeps, Revolutionary League, Xaositects. HARMONIUM

MERYKILLERS (REDDEATH) Philosophy: Justice is everything. When properly applied, punishment leads to perfection. 4

Factol: Formerly vSigif HQ: Plison (The Lady’s Ward). Home Field: Acberon. Allies: Harmonium, Guvners Enemies: Often Sensates, Signers, Revolutionary League. REVOLUIIONARY LEAGUE(ANARCHISTS) Philosophy: The status quo is built on lies and greed. Crush the factions. Break ’em all down and rebuild with what’% l e e - that’s the only way to find the real truth. Factof: None. Sigil HQ: Mobile. Home Field: Carceri. Allies: Doomguard, Xaositects (weak tie Enemies: Harmonium, Guvners. SIGN OF ONE (SIGNERS) Philosophy: The multivu~ccxists because the mind imagines it The Signers - it could be any Signer - create the multiverse through the power of thought. Factof: Da~ius. Sigil HQ: Hall of Speakers (Clerk‘s Ward). Home Field: Beastlands. Allies: Sensates. Enemies: Bleak Cabal (especially), Harmonium.

Socm Philosophy: To know the multiverse, experience it fully. The senses form the path to truth, for the multiverse doesn’t exist bevond what can be sens “ Home Field: Arborea. Allies: Signers; occasionally Indeps and Guvners. Enemies: Doomguard; often Mercykillers, Dustmen.






Philosophy: Action without thought is the purest response. Train body and mind to act in harmony, and the spirit will become one with the multiverse. Factol: Rhys. Sigif HQ: Great Gymnasium (GuildhallWard). Home Field: Elysium. Allies: Most factions. Enemies: Harmonium (suspicion). XAOSKECTS (CHAOSMEN) Philosophy: Chaos is truth, order delusion. Embracing the randomness of-the multiverse, one le: ims its secrets. Factol: Karan. Sigil HQ: Hive (Hive Ward). Home Field: Limbo. Allies: Doomguard, Bleakers. Enemies: Harmonium, Guvners.





“Today I met with another young priest who feels he’s among the Lost. I decided to see him,as I did all the others, because he makes me t h i i of my own temple life - it seems so long ago. I promised him I’d inform no one he’d been here or talked with me. He seemed so womed his superiors would discover his faith had been shaken. I had not the heart to tell him that, once shaken so profoundly, that same faith never returns. “This youth had the same questions that bring all to the Athar. He looked pitifully dependent upon my having the answers. He’d been wondering why the powers seemed so distant at this, a uarticularlv difficult time in hi life. Even his own Yen-Wang-Yeh felt like a mere shelf of the grand, divine presence he once was. Why did his gods Palace of Judgment and his fellow priests remind him of the offices and underlings surrounding fartion higb-ups, he wondered? Why do the tithes resemble the taxes imposed by lords and their ilk? c 1 “The pattern is always the same. I had these initial, sneaking doubts before awak eniug to the truth. This priest seemed desperately rcucvcu LO hear that I had experienced such feelings myself, and that I had answers for him. ‘Do you remember a time in the past when the window in your case refused to open?’ I asked. ‘Hmm? You pushed and pushed; the sash didn’t budge. So what did you do? You calmed your mind, took a deep breath, and gave a concerted heave. The sash rose, didn’t it, under your burst of sudden strength?’ “He nodded but didn’t appear any more at ease. Certainly such a commonplace occurrence didn’t mean anything, he must have thought. “‘Think back to that moment not too long ago when the crowd iostled you on the Fhurling Bridge and pushed you through the gap in the railing,’ I said. ‘Your hands caught at the gargoyle adorning the span, and you dangled from the creature’s horns. When you prayed, you were rewarded with another burst of strength, which you used to hoist yourself to safety.’ The youth’s eyes grew wide, and all the color drained from his face. The question in his expression was clear: How could I possibly know such a thing? Of course, thii child had no idea of the Athar’s far-reaching influence. He’d be equally shocked to bear that we’d learned of his crisis in faith a while ago. Indeed, I had been expecting him to visit me for quite some time. ”But I didn’t give him time to ask his questions. He certainly was not ready to learn our methods. Instead, I went on. ‘Believe me, that sudden surge of energy you felt both times sprang from one source. Yen-Wang-Yeh never granted you the vigor to open the window, nor the vitality that saved you on the bridge. That strength was yours, is yours.’ “The youth looked peery, hearing that. Oh, why do I waste my time with these leatherheads? They can see the truth right before their faces - they even know it, deep down. But they refuse to accept the fact that all they’d built their lives around comes to nothing more than a grand falsehood perpetrated throughout the multiverse. I wish I could give all these questioning, obstinate berks the kind of instant enlightenment I experienced. Instead, 1 have to think of something to say to this shattered priest who comes to me, the facto1 of the Athar, thinking that my advice would reassure him that the Athar are wrong, and that his power remains true. ‘You want to know whether a l l the powers are frauds,’ I said, and I’m afraid I sounded rather

short. ‘Do they really milk worshipers of gold and belief to sustain their influence? Certainly, we have no proof. Yet, don’t the circumstances look peery to you? If the powers are truly divine, why do they need wealth? They require followers to keep death at bay. Even Yen-Wang-Yeh has these needs.’ “Then, cringing, he asked me the question they all ask just before the final break. ‘Are there no gods, then?’ “I pitied the poor berk. ‘Well, I wouldn’t go so far as to say that divinity does not exist. Who knows what might lie beyond the veil of our limited awareness? What might the visage of that mystery look like? Perhaps mere mortals cannot fathom it. But, I assure you, this divinity bears Little resemblance to the powers who cavort here in the Great Ring.’ I almost told him that as a priest of this Great Unknown divinity, I still have access to spells, as any other priest has. But that is a dark I don’t reveal lightly. And, I didn’t want to influence him any more than I already had. He had a choice to make. “He left then, thanking me politely but without animation. Of course, what did I expect? I had crushed his last, foolish hope. Now comes the young priest’s hardest challenge. Usually, when faced with the truth,these struggling doubters do one of two things: They come hack to the Athar to stay, or they write themselves into the deadbook. “I think we’ll he seeing this one again.” - Excerpt from the personal journal

of Facto1 Terrance of the Athar

The Athar have been around as long as most factions, so don’t go askin’ for the entire history of their doings (or undoings). If some basher were to recount this group’s saga start to finish, his listener’s hair would’ve turned old-man white with the tale only half told. But a few events of note live in any Defier’s gray cells. The faction began centuries before the Great Upheaval, soon after two cutters - Dnnn and Ciro - encountered one another in Sigil amid the ruins of the Shattered Temple. The shrine existed in its broken state even back then, but Dunn and Ciro looked at its decay from very different viewpoints. See, Dunn had been bilked of everything he possessed by the jealous god Poseidon. His wealth lay in the treasury of the sea gods temple in the gate-town of Sylvania. His wife, lured from him by the chief priest, now graced the enclosed pools of that cleric’s Arborean pavilion. His daughter had been swept away to the plane of Arborea hy the power’s proxy. Dunn eyed the Shattered

Temple, seeking a way t o make Poseidon as dead as Aoskar, the power once worshiped there. Ciro had more of a philosophical bent. He, too, had lost his possessions to a god - Loki - and the gods religious hierarchy. But he’d found he liked his unencumbered life. Roaming the multiverse as an itinerant sage suited him more than slaving in a counting house to maintain a modest town house with its oak furnishings. But Ciro wondered why a power should need to bribe his priests with gold, should require the belief of worshipers to feed his immortality, if he were really a god. Surely divine beings, if they existed, followed different rules than the mortals of the planes. They’d be stronger, yes, like the powers are. Yet deities ought to possess fewer weaknesses, too - they shouldn’t need faith as men needed food, and they should ably support their priests through divine means, rather than stripping poor mortals’ hard-emed jink. Athar historical texts say that Ciro, adrift in mental meandering, would have overlooked Dunn completely had not that basher mistaken the philosopher for a last surviving believer in Aoskar and attacked him! The outcome is well-known: the duel of swords, followed by the duel of words, followed by a mutual pledge to meet among the ruins again in half a year bringing tales of their deeds against the powers, along with a few like-minded recruits. Their numbers grew slowly, and obscurity marked the early years of the Athar - a fortunate fact for a group with such controversial ideas as destroying worship of the powers. Eventually, the Harmonium, which uses religion to generate conformity and harmony, tumbled to the full weight of Athar philosophy. The Hardheads diverted their patrols to make a full-scale attack on the Shattered Temple, the faction’s de facto headquarters. The Lady of Pain soon put a stop to such blatant proceedings - all it took was sending the factor behind this movement to the Mazes. However, the Harmonium continued the war with discrete guerilla raids for a long time. When physical efforts faiied, they moved the dispute into the Hall of Speakers, pulling the Mercykillers and Fated into the fray on their side. m e FatedBgured that since might makes right, the powers - clearly able to hold their own as deities in the multiverse - must be what they claim. And, the gods wmfrauds, then the Red Death gained new targets far too powerful to briny to justice: not a good thing f o r the Mercykillers’ status and reputation. They fiyured Defiers must be wrong. - Ed.) The members of the Athar fought back, both on the streets and in the Hall, but reserved the bulk of their efforts to attack the minds of Sigil’s populace. One of the most notable initiatives - during a peak of political clout and material resources - was a tour the Defiers gave of their headquarten. The tour culminated in a pass through a portal into a portion of the Astral Plane where floated the dying bodies of six different powers! The crowds loved the spectacle, but few abandoned belief in their favorite god. After all, Zeus (or Annam or Loki or Odin) had greater

power than those pitiable specimens, and so could never die. The tours had to end due to lack of results. So, the Lost turned to publishing anonymous propaganda pieces designed ’ to “prove” the gods were frauds through reason, comic illustration, or the stories of individuals bilked by the powers. The tracts continue to appear according to fashion and the deg of censorship impos on written materials.


the Campaign of the ver Cord, the Believers of the Source created new trouble for the Athar. The Godsmen began erecting small

and initiative spend their time gathering information on the flow of funds through the tmples of all the powers. Where does the jink come from? How do the priests get it? How much do they keep in reserve? How much do they spend and on what? Faction members organize these facts into a rather unflattering picture of religious allocation of funds. Tidbits from this espionage cam.,: paign show up in the Defiers’ tracts, but Terrance enviF”:. sions . a more sinister long-term use g~ of the information. See, once the Athar understand the flow of wealth through the mples, they can disrupt that golden stream quite nicely. The factol believes poverty’ll make a lot of priests, sisters, and brothers hear new calls. ’Course, that’ll cut the size of the flocks. Pity.

:entered around the Great Foindrv _ (the . Believers’ he quarters), construction soon moved toward the Shattered Temple. The Godsmen’s invasion of both the Defiers’ mental temtory and physical precinct did not sit well. The Athar responded by training proselytizers of their own to wait at the false altars and accost would-be worshipers. Their first tactic? Distraction. Defiers made up stories to convince the erring berks that they had business elsewhere, perhaps giving them “news” of a friend newly returned to Sigil. If distraction failed, the Lost attempted direct persuasion, elaborating on the folly of revering normal beings as gods. Only when both diseaction and persuasion produced no effect might the proselytizer resort to physical violence. The Defiers grew so skilled at turning away prospective tithers, the Godsmen declared the cost of maintaining the personal shrines prohibitive. The altars abandoned, the two factions forgot their hostility: the similarity of their philosophies brought friendlier relations. Under Facto1 Terrance, Athar bloods fight a defensive campaign on the philosophical battlefield. Always alert to attacks from the other factions, they can devise strategies in response veIy quickly. Mostly, though, they limit their aggressions to two less-than-flamboyant baffle plans. Both require heaps of paper, gallons of ink, and armies of scribes and copyists. The first marks a new twist in the ongoing propaganda campaign. Since a lot of the Clueless walking Sigil’s streets cannot read, current Defier tracts skip the paragraphs of rousing prose. Instead, a single rune, activated by a glance, triggers a voice that recounts the tale devised by the Lost for that week‘s distribution. Seems membership is up, so the talking leaflets, called whispering runes, must be working. +9*

+ PAC.)leL




Male human planar 19th-level priest of the Greater Unknown, Athar (factol) Lawful good 13


DEX 10


14 18

€I€’ 67 AC 6




m C 0



EQUIPMENT: Cloak of protection

+4, amulet of proof against detection and location, drums of panic, boots of the notth, hood of comprehending languages and reading magic (as helm), hammer +3. SPELLSILEVEL: 11111/9/9/6/4/2. SPECIAL: Terrance casts spells from these spheres: all, astral, charm, creation, divination, guardian, healing, necromancy, and sua He has other standard priest and faction abilities.

Terrance seems much less bitter than many of the Athar. He feels a bust in the mnltiverse at large and in simple existence. He’d l i e to teach his viewpoint to all the Defiers and to the denizens of the Great Ring, but this desire is a muted one. See, Terrance is no fire-eater. As he guides the Athar through . the maze of intrigue enmeshing Sigil, he

can enlighten a few deceived sods along the way. Th good enough. The facto1 realized the fraud of godhood more ge than most. The second son of a rich man, he was well eduNot a lot of bashes are l i i n g up to visit the Athar’s headcated and destined for the religious life. His father’s garquarters. Sure, the Clueless tramped all over the place back nish to a temple of Mishakal on Elysium ensured a warm when the Lost still gave tours that included a look into the reception for the new novice. ’Course Terrance used his Astral, hut those that don’t have faction business there natural leadership and organizational skills to capitalize generally avoid the whole area on account of its bad on this promising beginning. Inside of 10 years he’d beomens. After all, there’s a reason it’s ruined. Looks like a come pafxiarch of the community of healers. cataclysm - some say the Lady’s wrath - razed not only Nothing terrible happened to him there. Sure, he had the Shattered Temple, but the entire surrounding neighbortroubles - any hasher does. But all in all, Terrance had a hood in a blocks-wide area. rewarding and comfortable life. No complaints. Then one Folks still live just at the edge of the devastation, day he awoke to the hidden dark: His own intellect and though; visitors there come upon freshly cobbled streets and intuition had given him the solutions to every tightly clustered houses, shops and inns. The beams and problem he’d faced in life. No power ever stones of these buildings look old, hobbed from the tatgave him divine guidance or tered r e m a in the area, but the construction seems strength. ‘Course, as patriarch, new and tidy enough. Heading toward the temple, a he’d enjoyed a few mobody might bote the Soused Duck on the right, with ments of communion copper tubs of periwinkle at its door. This tavern and V I A FRAUD with his deity, Mishakal. the Generous Coin mercantile next door popped But he’d sensed no halo of the diup long ago to serve faction members. I S UN AC C € P fAB L € vine in those exchanges - really, just The bustle and hubhub of the Cage fades as simple conversations, with a frill or fAc+mL T E R R A N C E * a body approaches the temple. A breeze whistwo the power threw in to excite + H E HARm e N I urn, pers through coarse grasses littered with tumbled his mortal capacity for awe. stone and splintered wood. Some of Sigil’s poor wander here and there, gathering up loose stones and With a dry chuckle, Terrance acknowledged the new dark within himself: He no longer revered Mishakal as dibeams from the surrounding falling-down buildings. The vine. Sure, he still respected the power’s sphere of interest sods look more than a little uneasy, and they don’t linger. (healing) and the extent of her influence, but felt no The tilted skeleton of the Shattered Temple looms “proper” religious fervor. The patriarch’s faith had turned a above these and other, lesser ruins. Razorvine curtains its ragged walls, listing buttresses, and cracked towers. The corner, and, as a man of integrity, he resigned his post. Why guide a bunch of berks to Mishakal when be h i s e l f Lost have shored up the remains of the crumbling sanctuhad departed from the goddess’s teachings? ary, hut they like the ravaged mood of the place. They gain comfort from this mute witness to the fact that powers can Terrance came to Sigil, joined the Athar, and became quite popular with other Defiers. Most of the Lost embrace die - as did Aoskar, the near-forgotten god of portals once worshiped here when the place was stiU called the Great bitterness to themselves l i e a lover. Terrance, an island of Temple of Doors. (‘Course, sages’ll tell a body that the dequiet serenity and moderation, came as a welcome relief. stroyed husk driftins in the Astral, like Aoskar, are neither His skills made him popular as weU. Once Terrance proved he could gain spells tbrongh meditation and fervent belief dead nor alive, but linger somewhere in between. - Ed.) in the Great Unknown - which Athar claim is the source At the end of a nameless Lower Ward street off Brandy Lane stands a decrepit outbuilding made of worn, mossof all priestly power - he quickly rose in the &. covered stones. Two guards bearing the Athar’s insignia The ex-patriarch gets on well with Factol Ambar of watch the enhance [and similar faction guards wait at three the Godsmen; he likes the half-elfs compassion and lack other crumbling @mrdhousesat the edge of terraces around of the self-centeredness that plagues most Believers. The the temple’s perimeter). They’ll likely seem surprised at a two often cooperate on initiatives in Sigil, out of friendvisitor’s approach at first, then recover enough to rememship and because both their factions believe in powers beber to put their hands to their weapons and demand to yond the powers. know the berk‘s business. If they’re in a good mood, one of Terrance pities Factol Pentar of the Doomguard, but the guards’ll summon a guide from the temple, signaling views her as an enemy. She seems to personify the passion with a shrill l i e of notes from a little reed pipe. for extremes that he deprecates. Nor does her faction CUIOne of the regular guides, Caylean, is a lad with inrently pursue goals in the least compatible with those of tense dark eyes, a thin face, and a grin that accords the Athar. The epidemic of random violence she seeks strangely with his lethal, wiry frame. (The temple still oflikely would dispose the populace to lean harder on their fers tours, but they don’t letfolks peek into the Astral anyfalse gods, moving them ever further from the Athar’s more, as that portal closed several years ago. - Ed.) blessed self-sufficiency.





Male tiefling planar 4th-level ranger, Athar (factotum) Chaotic good

SK? 13 DEX 14 14

~ N T




CHA 17

HP 27 AC 7 THACO 17

Bastard sword, studded leather armor. Caylean has standard tieflmg, ranger, and fartion abilities. IENT: L:

Caylean is an enthusiastic, cheerful hasher - the exact opposite of most Defiers (and most tieflings). He sings, he laughs, he cracks jokes, and tends to hust his host of acquaintances. The Athar would‘ve ousted him kept for two things. First, the factol likes this blood and views him as proof that a more benign attitude can mix with Defier philosophy without diluting it. The second reason brings up the interesting story beiind Caylean’s decision to join the Lost. See, the tiefling spent his childhood as a cripple, unable to walk due to the withered legs he was born with. The day he denounced the gods as frauds and joined the Athar, his limbs became whole and healthy. The Lost saw it as a sign that a force beyond mortal understanding could operate once a body’d banished the interference of the powers. The way they see it, Caylean’s clear proof that the Athar philosophy has the right of it. The ranger has no place of his own to call kip - he stays at the case of a poor namer and his family. Before he came, this basher’s brood went hungry most days, and their scrawny elbows poked through holes in their toosmall clothes. But, Caylean has made their lives a sight better. When he comes in, he tosses the kids on his knee, sings a nursery rhyme, or swoops them away to eat meatrolls from a street vendor. His efforts have given the children rosy cheeks and have made their parents smile. Caylean’s faction duties involve guiding guests through the headquarters and canying messages for his factol. This is one cutter with a fnture in the faction, and he knows it. For now, he revels :n the experience of standing, walking md running on his own two legs.


Leaving the guardhouse with their guide, visitors to the Shattered Temple emerge upon an expanse of rough grasses humped by mole tunnels and pocked with thistle and dock. A c a d s s berk could lose his footing on the uneven walkways that lead from the peripheral outbuildings toward the incredible pile of stone that is the temple. Guards patrol the grounds, from the four overgrown terraces to the decrepit temple itself. The Lost didn’t break much of a sweat k i n g the place up, but visitors can see why the faction members like the place so: Its ragged heights suggest the irregular battlements of a mountain fortress. When it rains, a body can tell that every stone in the Piebald Tower on the left seems a slightly different color. A quick walk across the grass leads a party to the Scriptorium, where the Defiers create their books and, of course, the propaganda tracts that always seem to be blowing l i e leaves in the streets of the Cage. Those entering this detached Old Temple Wing first notice the gaping, glassless windows in its upper floors and its distinct lack of a roof. The ground floor seems sound enough, though. Beyond the anteroom is a light-filled chamber where nearly 50 scribes sit at tables stacked high with paper. The scratch of quills and the murmur of lowered voices sounds as long as light lasts. Makeshift shelves and old tables hold pots of ink - scarlet, cobalt, verdigris, and gold for the books that become part of the faction’s library. The tracts get only black. Seems the Athar know how to spend their jink. Back outside and over into the other side of this building, visitors step into another anteroom. The long oak tables in the chamber beyond suggest the room’s purpose: the refectory. The Lost don’t eat tau bad, goes the chant. The kitchen beyond has the same tall but glassless windows as this dining area. The clearest path up to the most sound Shattered Temple entrance winds left around the central building. Heading up the path and into the buttressed bulk of the temple itself, the curious pass under a massive arch. Some say going in there feels like entering a tomb. In the vaulted entry ball, ornate portals stand to the left and the right, and a light shines through an opening at the far end. A quick look into the room on the right reveals nothing but a maze of falling-down shelves holding boxes of uauers and uiles of ledgers. The left uortal leads to what was once a shrine. Now, hooks and more books fill the shelves lining the walls. A ladder (attached to a rail that encircles the room at head height) gets a body up to a narrow balcony, from which yet another tier of shelves springs upward. A visitor’s l i e l y to encounter a thin blood in hooded robes flipping through the pages of some thick tome at one of the tables in the center of the floor. This is Hohard, a grouch of a mage who’ll spare a moment to grumble at slmngers under his breath before poking his nose back in his hook.

+ 12 +




HaBARD Male githzerai planar 9th-level mage, Athar (factotum) Chaotic neutral STR 8 DEX 11 10


15 11



HP 19 AC 4 THACO 18

EQUIPMENT:Bracers of defense (AC fi), ring of protection +2. SPELL~LEVEL: 4/3/3/2/1. SPECIAL: Hohard has standard githzerai, mage, and faction abilities. Hohard, a pessimistic, drab Defier, possesses a knack for getting the job done. He’ll complain enough for three while he goes about his business, forecasting doom for whatever activity he’s about. Thing is, success usually finds the cranky githzerai anyway. Fellow factotums often ask him to join their adventuring parties - ’course, then they have to endure his whining with gritted teeth. A mess that requires a sneaky, underhanded approach - now that’s Hohards delight. He’ll create a leak in the undercroft of a monastery and follow it up with rumors that the sudden dankness invading the wine cellars stems from undead. The hasher’ll install a flight of hats in the hell tower of a cloister, then spur the carillon player to test the keyboard. Many a temple, ahhey, and shrine has suffered his ploys. ’Course, Hohard handles a lightning-fast raid or extended slug-fest with the best of ’em - he just enjoys petty nastiness more. This tall, bony cutter has the thin face, long nose, and yellow eyes of his mce. He weam olive rnhes with the draping sleeves cut away to accommodate leather vamhraces set with agate studs. He shaves most of his head, leaving only a strip of black tresses down the middle of his scalp. After meeting Hohard in the library, visitors to the Shattered Temple generally find themselves drawn to the light at the end of the entry hall. Is it a courtyard? Perhaps a fountain plays there. From some 20 feet away, a body can see something glistening in the chamber beyond, like water or dew. Passing through the opening, one suddenly emerges into the daylight again. This is no courtyard, but the old sanctuary of the temple, its elaborate vaulting lost long ago. Cracked ivory and lime tiles cover the vast expanse of floor, punctuated in the exact center of the huge room by a great tree. Its dark green leaves shine so, they reflect the light like a mirror. Or does the tree itselfglow? Deep red fruits nestle among the foliage along with pale silver blossoms. A scent of citrus blended with sweetness rises from this living fountain. This is the Bois Verdurous, the pride of the Athar. (And the reason for the guards patrolling the grounds. For more on this magical tree, see “The DMs Dark, ” page 15. - Ed.) After laying eyes on the

enchanted tree, visitors leave the temple thinking tha maybe the Defiers have something to believe in after all. SAFEHw& On the Outlands and the far reaches of the Great RinL-the Defiers use abandoned religions huildings for refuge: any place the powers have left a footprint. When the faction’s enemies’ve got the upper hand, the Lost find inspiration in reminders that the works of the false gods don’t last. Ruined abbeys, empty convents, toppled hermitages, and decrepit chapels form a network of places to go to ground. They stock their rundown sanctuarie: with food, wine, bedding, clothing, and extra weaponry. The more perilous or vital spots have resident caretakers. Many of these ruins are haunted - so goes the chant among the locals. ’Course, the Athar only encourage such superstitions by impersonating ghosts or other undead. If the natives avoid the area, the chances of anyone unearthing the hideaway are few.




Nearly all the Athar feel a need to show the deluded, who sldl have faith in the powers, the errnr of their ways. However, most of the Lost feel peery of priests of specific deities and avoid their temples. Why should a body expose himself to the one place where the enemy is strongest? Defiers steer away from overt hostilities against the various faiths: The survival of their faction depends on discretion. After all, too many open attacks on established temples will simD l v unite their foes into a force the Athar could never

Not all the Lost are hitter, hut most have had a power turn stag on ’em. That’s why folks join the Defiers, and a lot of them cany around a heavy load of cynicism, paranoia, and resentment. Whatever their attitude, Defiers follow the Rule of Three by having three main goals: to prove pnhlicly the falsity of the so-called gods, to lessen or destroy their influence, and to part the veil of the unknowable to glimpse the mth. ALIGNMENT.Defiers of various ethical systems all look at thc

Athar philosophy a little differently. A hasher with a hen, toward charity wants to save the “ f a i W sods from suffering the pain of the inevitable helmyal by their powers. A few Lost value honesty, and so find motivation in a love of truth. Self-centered Defiers hope to pull down the powers to leave more room for their own schemes to gain wealth, pleasure, or even revenge: Strip the false gods of power by s ~ p p i n gthem of believers. ’Course, the Defiers who naturally refrain from passing judgment still detest shams. What is, is - and fraudulent gods only muddy the waters.

without these in deliver tainted magi for themselves.

RACE. Many planars in the Great This fact makes the Lost less multiracial than some other factions, such as the Believers of the Source and the Free League. Bariaur, half-elves, humans, tieflings, dwarves, elves, gnomes, and halflings are all well represented. Githzerai seem few and far between, thougb: The majoriiy re vere either their race's nameless wizard-king or the legendary Zerthimon as a god.

A + H A R IIIfl Ill Bfl RSHI P Folks can join the Lost just by presenting themselves at the Yhattered Temple. Some of these namers find jobs at the Temple. (See The Chant, " page 15. - Ed.) All of 'em must provide room nd boad for needy factotums, since the temple itself offers no housing. The faction treasury gives them a bit ofjink for this service, but not enough to cover all the costs. The excess? Consider it the namer's contribution to the cause. Defier factotums are called athaons, a term meaning "godless" in the sacred tongue used by priests of the dead power Aoskar. A namer hecomes an athaon in a night ceremony in the Shattered Temple. The basber must bring three articles (weapons, boob, or symbols) imbued with the magic of a fraudulent god and deslmy them all at the proper time during the rite.

22, exactim, ha& word, a&


specific deities may not aid known fartion members with spells or other uses of divine power, p&idarly heahg. Only extreme situations might lead a priest to vidate t h i s ban. 'Course, no Defier blood would accept this aid anybow. Athaons receive a +2 bonus to their saving k w s vs. priest spells cast by clerics, proxies, ami senrants to any of the powers. The bonus also applies to the spell-lie abilities of creatures such as dews and baatem serving a powy. The banishing skill of groups of four far mre athaons remains the Athar's most prized ability. (See "The DM's Dark, " next page. - Ed) Factors (9thlevel or above) learn a special obscurement technique that cloaks them frem ebservation by powers and their minions. Priests, d i a powers themselves using spells or @-l&e a b i W e s to locate or discover information about an A&ar factor can do so only after a successful saving h w vs. spell. Dbsnrrement counters the following wizard spells or abilities: detect evil, detect invisibility, ESP, knew altgnment, beate object: clairaudienee, claimownce: m+c mirror; eontact other plane, sending; ensnaremtnt, 2e-d lore; h a n d , @ r s q h t . It also counters these priest spells and Wll-like abilities: augury: detect lie, divination, reflecting pool; magicfont:find the path; exaction.

+THE CHANeE+ Know how to read and write? Need jink? The Defiers hire scribes. 'Course, their Scriptorium's overflowing with scribbling - namers, so thev've had to usurn the tables in the refectorv and even set up trestles in the old meditation cells. Not a bad way to turn a copper. But a body wanting to witness a little legislative excitement as a member of th Athar should swing by the Ha.. of Speakers. A new ordinance the Hardheads propose would make it illegal to distribute or possess pamphlets mocking the powers. Factol Terrance could use extra supporters as be argues before the speakers. 'Course, cutters with the dark can find excitement away from the Cage, too. The chant talks of a new fountain just sprung up in Marduk on Arcadia. Seems the Harmonium's bathing converts in it night and day; one dip, and namers obey Hardhead dictum without question. Does the water cause such fidelity? The factol needs to know, so someone's got to go. "Leaf in gilt, leaf in copper, green flees the harleydown, and Lost is lost forever," whispers a stranger on a bridge. Could it be a plot against the Bois Verdurous? Who knows the significance of the tree, save the high-up Defiers? Why would they seek its death? And how would they do the deed? Factol Temance has a few ideas, hut he bides his tim

+THB DIII'S D A R K + The Athar hasn't made its enemies on the strength of its much-loathed philosophy alone. Many a priest has lost his flock, his home, and his wealth to the machinations of the Lost. And not a few churches have suffered similar fates. The Shattered Temple harbors a respectable supply of riches, magical items, and weaponry, most confiscated from temples. How much? Let's just say the Defiers can equip themselves nicely. But if this hits the chant, the

Its ruinous condition makes the Shattered Temple appear hardly defensible. Nice illusion, eb, berk? The tattered walls are magically reinforced. And the keystane of the Defiers' unique citadel is their Bois Verdurous, which thrives in the neadouarters' roofless sanctum. < The enchanted tree absorbs the spells of all the magical items destroyed during athaon initiation rites. Terrance beliwes the tree is a gift from the Great Unknown. The tree enhances his powers; as long as he touches it, the factol can cast any priest spell, one round after another. Range is limited, however; these spells can take effect only witbin the zone of destruction surrounding the temple. Alternately, the factol may pluck a fruit or a flower and carry it with him for use elsewhere. The harvested blossom or fruit contains one of the tree's stored spells that the factol chose and can cast at will. No one except Factol Terrance may safely touch the Bois Verdurous. Others suffer ld12 points of damage each round they maintain contact with the tree itself. Soellcasters lose their magical abilities until they've rested overnight, and magical items they hold that fail their saving throws, the tree drains of power. Only rarely and with the utmost discretion does the Atbar use its most beloved asset: the power of banishment, as the 7th-level wizard spell. Four or more midlevel athaons (of at least 4th level) may link hands, encircling their target. By concerted force of will (one round in which they may perform no other action), they can banish petitioners, servant creatures, or proxies of a power back to the gods domain on his home plane. W p to 2 HD or levels of creature per caster level. - Ed.) Petitioners who fail a saving throw vs. spell are banished, unable to leave their power's realm for a year. Servant creatures who fail the saving throw find themselves constrained for a month, and banished proxies stay confined for a week. For every athaon in the circle beyond the minimum of four, the target suffers a -1 penalty to the saving throw. Unlike the spell, Athar banishment works only on representatives of a power and requires no material compo-






-We can all be gods. ”All beings are sacred, haloed by the divine, ordained for a greater destiny. Each time we die, we rise again to new life. The multiverse acts as a forge for us, in every life we live. As we are shaped by it, we evolve: from gme to prime, to planar, to power - and then into the unknown sublime. Reincarnation tums the wheel of existence: teaching us, testing us, remaking US.* ‘The lessons of experience may be obscure, esoteric, unfathomable, but the one who overcomes them and survives is the one who succeeds and ascends. The difficulties of living are more than unpleasant irrelevancies to avoid. Thev are oooorhmities. And the one who fails to prove his worth when challenged by the multiverse risks more than the loss of gold or love: Sentient spirits can and do descend the great ladder of evolution, to be reborn as vmouilles or slugs. Courage and intelligence are necessary qualities in the upward slretch toward the w u c e of all life. . . . . “We must become parIners with the multiverse to sculpt our own beings. We cannot wait upon the vagaries of life to transform us, as people wait in line to pay their fines at the Courts in the grand City of Doors. Passivity invites self-pity and stagnation. Those who allow their agony to merely wash over them become small and hard and mean. And those who simply acquiese to joy forget to embrace it! Their spirits shrink, and all unknowingly, they prepare themselves for a descent after death. “While gripped in the vise of life’s ills and joys, we must bend all our virtues toward participation in our experience. The man who expands his duties and responsibilities while suffering and allows the pain to urge him on toward greater achievement will grow. The woman who allows her joy to drive her to new experiences rather than trying futilely to cage that joy finds the emotion has infused all she sees and all she does. These active participants in the forge of existence are preparing themselves for the more rigorous challenges prevailing on the higher mngs of the ladder to the Source. These people become strong and flexible, the goal of the ascent toward their destiny.. . . “One should never give too much meaning to the forms we gain in our ascent toward our goal. Only the ignorant believe the purpose of OUT evolution is to acquire the body of a human, a balfling, or an elf. A being’s physical form merely mirrors one’s spiritual development - not the other way around. Inner development is our aim. “Yet a profound mystery remains concerning the form manifested by a being who reaches the top rung of the ladder of the multiverse and steps off it to some sublime existence beyond. Is his body fashioned so finely that we lesser kindred cannot even perceive it? Or might it he that formlessness itself is the measure of the ascended one’s triumph? “This, as all other knowledge, we will learn in time.”









PAR+ S m l t H . PAR+ BARD. HE’S N @ t Y e U R + Y P I C A L FAC+eL.

- Excerpt from Destiny ofBeing, a treatise in three volumes

by Facto1 Ambar Vergrove of the Believers of the Source

+ 16 +




trailing a 3-foot leather strap fringed with iron spikes? This blood knew he could win mangrel tosses only after much prior preparation. No surprise, he figured victories in less athletic pursuits also stemmed directly from a body‘s previous decisions and actions. Not content to ponder the matter alone, Perrine founded a society of equally curious bashers. Together, they developed the Godsmen’s core belief - existence is a forge that shapes us - and an accompanying lifestyle called “sequel observance.” See, a body pays strict attention to the consequences of every one of his actions, so he can figure the way to produce only good results in the future. Learning from experience, that’s the idea, and ability to reason clearly, that‘s the tool. During the Great Upheaval, a cutter named Augy of Faunel solidified the society as a faction and forever altered its philosophy. Seems Augy’d been reincarnated a thousand times and could remember her past lives. Each built on the last, she said, and she went up or down the ladder of existence in response to her choices. Augy even claimed to recall her first incarnation and the glory that came before it. “Light poured through my essence like water,” she wrote in her journals. Singing pounded me in ocean waves. Without sight, without hearing, I perceived the rodinnce And the music. Such was my Source, The originfrom which all lives spring. She ineoduced Perrine’s society to the merits of intuition - it’s usually a past life trying to get something across - and to the benefits of peering back beyond a body’s own m d o 4 ria. This philosophy lets a basher evolve without merely sticking to cold logic, in a process that reaches beyond death into one’s next incarnation. Evolve enough, and a body becomes a god. Augy gave the society the name it bears to this day: the Believers of the Source. As factol, she directed her followers into intense research. They collected biographies and interviewed anyone claiming to recall a past life. Perhaps this study would reveal the reason the multiverse inflicts lives of tests on a body. While their first priority remained comprehending the tests of the multiverse, Godsmen often stumbled upon other secrets along the way - l i e the chamber of bones beneath Sigil’s Armory. Such a rnom might hold valuable hints about death (and thus life and evolution), Facto1 Augy figured. Plus, she’d taken to reading the rotting memories of berks in the dead-book. So, she snuck in and wound up in the blmds. See, while reviewing images in an old tbighh-bonethere, she got scragged hy the trapped spirit of the fiend Fosnatu’u. This tanar’ri took conwl of the factors mind and told

Believers that evil acts best enabled a b d y to evolve, But soon a friend of hers, Roscoe, got p philosophical shift. The good news natu’n back to its thigh bone prison. The bad news: In doing so, he sent Augy on to begin Life Nb. 1.001. More bad news: The Doomguard caught the chant that Augy’d been visiting the Armory m t e d . Seems the Sinkem felt antagonistic to the Godsmaz in those days the way they saw it, the desire to ascend to godhood opposed enimpy. Hearing of a spy in the secret heart of their headquarters was all the Doomguard n d e d to launch a rampage agaiost the Godsmen. The work of a mathematician and musician named Luce sparked the next vogue among the Godsmen. See, Luce said that any given moment in W and space possesses a unique, associated resonance. This resonance, though beyond hearing range, codd be transposed down several octaves for mortal listeners to enjoy. The Godsmen felt convinced this ”Music of the Multiverse” could tell a basher which way he’s moving on the ladder toward godhood. When a new blood claimed to ‘hear” the celestial symphony, more Believers abandoned their biographies and work at the Great F o u n w (thefoeton’s headquarters - Ed.] to hy cultivating the sensitivity. Empyrean barmonies became the rage in Si.Mathematicians in every ward started composing, as did amateurs all ’round the Great Ring. The Hardheads saw the Godsmen’s discovery as an attack on their goal of peace tbmugh conformity. Verbal hostility reigaed in the Hall of Speakers, while covert bloodshed mged between the City Barracks and the Great Foundry. While violenee of word and sword &I thrives betwep the Believers and their traditional enemies fthe Dustmen and the Bleak Cabal, both of whom detest Godsman philosophy - Ed],the most significant cofacing the fartion now springs from witbin. Basdank [pv 9 hnman/D5/3eliiers of the SourceN, a factowith a cwsiderable following, attacks her faction for placing t k form of a dog or zebra low on the ladder toward the sublime, while halfelves, tieflings, and humans sit on higher rungs. As a Shapesmer druid with considerable e s p i e n c e forms (desctfbed in The Complete Druid%Handbo Basdank even calls instinctsuperior ideal of action Many fear her notions, so dose to mated without thought to ckm&ame The factors not just rattling egy. Recalling the monies, he has o g singing or playing an . ’ that provoke strong fed@$ in transform these emotions into d e r a performance The fist gra


Ambar felt astonished. Caye would live i n a wooded palace, dine on the finest of viands, enjoy the gladdest of +AIIIBAR V B R C R e V B music, and have the most devoted of bridegrooms - what Male half-elf planar more could a father want? 19th-level ranger, Believers of the Source (factol) Ambar's mother enlightened him: Social status, politNeutral good ical or military power, a castle built by hands rather than by nature, and monetary rather than inner wealth were STR 18 INT 13 HP necessary attributes for wedlock among the Quybier. The 95 DEX 18 W e 18 2 AC youth believed Galina, but he also believed in himself. He m C 0 2 CON 16 CHA 17 wooed Caye without her father's consent and won her. For a time, all t h e e exiles dwelled contentedly in their woodIPMENT: Amulet of the planes, ring of protection +4, land glade: bride and bridegroom in a pavilion of willow boots of elueukind, brooch of shielding, crown of wands and grape vines, Galina in her pagoda of pine telepathy (as helm), robes ofdisplacement, gem ofseeboughs opposite. The trio sang mad melodies, indulged in ing on a beaded chain, iridescent spindle ioun stone, woodland feasts, told stories, and danced wild jigs. The news that Caye was with child delighted them. invisible sword of dancing +2, staff, harp. The warriors Florien sent ended all that. They slew SPELLS/LEVEL: 3/3/3. Galina and Caye in the scuffle and brought Ambar in SPECIAL: The factol has standard ranger and half-elf ahilichains before the Quybier lord. To the patriarch's accusaties, plus faction abilities. (Ambar uses the "Exceeding Leuel Limits" rule in Chapter 2: Player Character tion of abduction, the half-elf replied eloquently. "I a c m e , vou! I accuse vou. murderer of mv MASTERGuide. - Ed.) Races in the DUNGEON " mother, slayer of my consort and unborn child! I In a place on the Outlands named Faydl to accuse you of killing my happiness, of some, Fayrie to others, and unknown to defiling my home, and robbing me of my most, an elf gave birth to a halffuture. Dare you deny me? Dare you demand recompense in the face of that which human son. This woman, Galina, found herself ostracized you owe me?" In fact, the Quybier dared by her kin - not for her choice B E C K @ N S . not To assuage their guilt over of father for her child, but for her refusaltoshapeherdemeanorto H E A R + H E C A L L @ F +HE f @ R G E ! the deaths, they presented Ambar with a velvet casket fdled the stiff formality customary LE+ L l f f S H A P E Y@U with gems and begged him to for those of the Quybier, her RAWS EAR. depart FayriU forever. He accepted the clan. Galina loved to dance, sing, laugh, and f m m "THE feRGE," precious stones and left. With a fortune in gems and the abilplay the harp. Not A S O N G BY ties ofthe woodwise, a half-elf can go far. too unusual for an fAC+OL AmBAR Ambar guided travelers through the elf, right? But then, Outlands, invested his wealth in all Galina knew was profitable ventures, and searched i her own rigid family. the Great Ring for a spot he Fortunately for her and might call home. He never her child, she also knew which plants found it, hut he collected a vast selection of artshe could eat and how to weave shelter work and rare musical insbxments. Eventually he fell in from fallen pine boughs. with the Believers of the Source and discovered that, alHer son, Ambar, never knew he was poor. He slept on the softest moss by night, drank clear spring water by day, though no place could feel like home again, a group of and thrived amid the beauty of the forest. To his eyes, his people could. His courtesy and kindness - he still likes home seemed a mansion. He learned his mother's songs everyone to call him by his fust name - earned h i many friends among the Godsmen, and in time he became factol. and played with fox cubs denned nearby. The youth discovered his poverty only after he spotHe is beloved of all his namers, factotums, and factors ted Caye, a maiden of the Quybier, straying through his half of whom believe him well on the way to becoming a wood. Her brown, silken hair brushed her ankles; her mapower. Most of them would lay down their lives at his hogany eyes carried a lnnt of purple in the depths of their beckoning. To his credit, Amhar rarely requires such sacriunfathomed mystery; her lithe form was slim as a birch, fice. His goal as factol? He wants both the faction and its but her manner seemed so solemn, like nothing Ambar had members to flourish. Unlike many of his followers, Ambar ever imagined. The half-elf went to ask the maid's sire, values individuals more than the philosophies they Florien. for her hand, but found himself brusquely refused. espouse.








A basher touring these facilities might spy a small tiefling woman chasing down some animal that's found its way into the 'works. She moves at breakneck pace and always manages to capture whatever bird or critter she hunts, calming it with a few soothing words. 'Course, she never acts soothing or calm amund people.

Clueless catching sight of the Great Foundry for the first time look like real leatherheads. Their eyes get as big as fried vrock eggs, and they swivel their heads amund l i e they're mounted on mop sticks trying to take everything in. This Foundry ain't the village smithy. The Godsmen make their headquarters in the heart of the Lower Ward. It's a grimy section of Sigil, with narrnw, ZENA twisting streets and crooked, soot-covered shops and houses. The sods here look pale, bent, and furtive, most of Female tiefling planar them artisans intent on hoarding craft secrets. Visitors 9th-level ranger, Believers of the Source (factotum] asking locals the way to the Great Foundry will likely get Neutral good no answer. Only bubbers too long on nearby Alehouse STR 14 13 HP 46 Row'd have a hard time seeing the stacks of the metalDEX 16 14 AC 4 works belching smoke above the roof lme. CON 14 THACO 12 10 The Great Foundry's two 10-foot-wide main gates never fail to impress a basher. The wrought-iron frame's as EQUIPMENT: Quarterstaff, leather armor +2. tall as most neighboring inns and houses, and each gate SPEUS/LEVEL: 2. swings on hinges as thick as a smith's thigh! SPECIAL: Zena has standard ranger and tiefling abilities, as well as those of a factotum of her faction. I TU The guards here look as intim"n dating, too. ('Course, they don't W H E R E ' S ZENA? give cutters in Godsman colors Zena's specialty is animals. The warmany trouble. - Ed.) And a - A GeDSIIIAN F A C + e R . hearted factotum loves any beast that glance at the jagged, masruns, creeps, slithem, swims, or flies. Her a N H E A R I N G af A N sive metal-works (called case in the Lower Ward looks [and A e S K I A N HatUND just the foundry) nestled in smells) too much like a zoo for anyone but e IN its semicircle of stacks tells her to stay there. Not only do fellow Godsmen S H E E + WIBRKS a body that a powerful avoid the kio. thev " steer clear of Zena herself. faction indeed runs the Oh, she's attractive enough: A cloud of sootplace. black hair frames a face graced by high cheekbones, dark The Great Foundry's eyes, a thin nose, pointed chin, and pouting lips. She w e m gowns of diaphanous gauze and ankle boots. (No one main yard looks dismal and gravel expanse surrounded by dingy knows how she stays free of animal hair, feathers, and walls and humped with piles of rubble and unsmelted ores. dander. - Ed.) But Zena can get intense. Most hashers The roaring of fires and ringing of forges grows deafening weary quickly of her speeches on the suffering of animals after just a few minutes. Still, the imposing mass of the and her mandates to treat one's feathered and furry brothers with compassion. metal-works reaching toward the s b lends grandeur to its Despite this ostracism, which Zena barely notices, sodden surroundings. This brick edifice looms a full 10 stohigh-ups regularly summon her to situations requiring her ries tall. Huge, iron-mullioned windows flood its interior expertise. Someone has to heal an injured lizard that might with light. Equally huge portals allow wains full of ore to lead to a thief of equipment from the Foundry: Call Zena. roll right inside. Spending time inside this foundry building makes a A scroll detailing the ingredients for a long- sought spell body start to think Baator'd be a nice place to cool off. lies in a pit of asps: Get Zena. While never given the misFiery-mawed furnaces the size of barns seem to yawn sions other factotums receive, she gets involved in many indirectly, thanks to her unique skills. everywhere one looks. Pulleys bigger than the hashers 'Course, hundreds of bashers work at the Great working them boom like giant hemlocks. Crucibles large Foundry more often than Zena: metal men, artisans, laborenough for an ogre's bath brim full of molten metal. ers, and messengers. The place can daunt workers newly Namers scurry about in the sweltering heat, bringing arrived to do their part in the manufacture of the metal drinking water to the metal men. Some don't last long everyday items the Godsmen produce. (Basic iron items seems they decide they don't have a taste for dodging like utensils, screws, etc. - Ed.) Their best friends a tall, drops of boiling steel in air hotter than an oven. brown-skinned blood named Omhidias, who takes new reThe sheet-works, bar-works, and mold-works are a l l cruits under his wing. He's gentle and slow of speech, but just smaller versions of the huge and complex metalstrong. Despite his factor status, he always seems to have a works. Few smithies, prime or planar, can prepare a body moment for namers needing guidance. to work the liquid metal at the Great Foundry.




bubble of glass panes supported by arching steel beams and iron mullions forged in the foundry. The oval council table of polished bronze (measuring 15 feet by 25 feet) features a central opening that aligns with a window of glass block in the granite floor to provide the debating factors with a view into the metal-works below. Both the floor window and the glass bubble require frequent washing to remove the pervasive soot. The factors and factotums who supervise the running of the Great Foundry have luxurious suites atop the lesser ’works. Namer quarters are what one might call a bit more - modest. They sleep in small closets in the clerks’ residences behind the foundry, in the storage yards amid warehouses and piles of scrap. Their tiny spaces each do include a window, though, as well as clean sheets and warm quilts. When these new recruits advance in seniority, they find themselves transfemd to better chambers in Anbar’s Palace in the Ethereal Plane.

eIIIBIDIAS Male voadkyn prime 7th-level shaman, Believers of the Sonrce (factor) Neutral good

STR 15 DEX 13 IN


INT 13 Wrs 16 CHA 18



AC “ K O



Giant-kin mace (ld8x2), giant-kin long bow and 24 large arrows (+1 bonus to attack rolls, 50% bonus to range, Id8 points of damage). EVEL: 5/5/2/1. Ombidias casts spells from the all, charm, divinaand healing spheres. He can polymorph selfinto any humanoid creature between 3 and 15 feet in height. Wood giants, like elves, prove 90% resistant to sleep and charm spells. They have infravision up to 90 feet. Opponents in forests, where voadkyn can hide easily, suffer -4 penalties to their surprise rolls.



Ombidias has the size, large head, and prominent jaw of the voadkyn, but the disposition of a sage hornhead sawial. He weighs his words carefully, speaks slowly, and comes to decisions only after long internal debate. The tribe he once served as shaman on the obscure primematerial world of Glemayne ceased to exist more than 50 years ago, when the world was overrun by hellcats and hordlings at the behest of a baatezu lord. Ombidias found himself taken prisoner and locked away in the iron city of Dis. He survived unspeakable tortures but escaped, convinced that his clan needed him now more than ever. In fact, all had died. Ombidias wished he had gone with them. He thought of returning to Baator to put as many of his gaolers into the dead-book as be could before they wrote him his own page. However, his giving voadkyn nature and his shaman’s instincts would not allow it. Instead, be decided to dedicate the rest of his life to serving the downtrodden, the u n d e d ued of the mnltiverse. He left the rnins of Glemayne forever, ensconcing himself in Sigil (through which he bad passed during his escape) and joining the Believers of the Sonrce. His work with the memories of his tribe has meshed well with the aims of the faction. Many Godsmen expea him to become the next factol, after Ambar evolves into a power. The 9-foot wood giant has a somber face and skin so dark brown, it looks black. Draped in the deep green and black robes he prefers, Ombidias cuts an imposing fignre, but in conversation he seems more approachable. His warm manner and compassion endears him to all.

Godsmen find themselves well received most places they h v e l , but they enjoy visiting some places in particnla AMBAR’S PALACE. Evervone looks forward to a triu to Facto1 Ambar’s escape: a &dy in perpendicular gothi: executed in polished steel, rather than stone, on an island in the deep Ethereal. The complex possesses many high-ceilinged wings, and newcomers feel awed by its intricate vaulting and stained-glass windows. Gilt furniture, an eclectic mix of art, and vases overflowing with flowers appoint the rooms. Marble terraces, lily-ornamented reflecting pools, rose-grown arbors, and bowers of blossoms comprise the palace courtyards. Ambar dwells in this miniature paradise with his factors and many factotums and namers who labor in the Great Foundry. High-ups hold conferences and issue orders to factotums here. One permanent portal in the metalworks of the Great Foundry connects to the workers’ wing of Ambar’s domain. Another, in the wire-works, lead the impressive front steps of his palace.


SAFEHOUSES. Godsmen find they can rely on a network of people for help in a pinch, rather than on hidden caves, cellars, garrets, or other normal refuges. An innkeeper here, a farm wife there, a loyal monk, an herbalist, a castle guard - in the Outlands and on most Outer Planes, a place might fail a body, but friends won’t. (At least, not the friends of the Believers of the Source. - Ed.] Usually, bloods can borrow their friends’ resources too, which gives them easy access to weapons, clothes, medicines, disguises, or hits of news. The Godsmen oversee a barmy asylum called Harbinger House in either The Lady‘s Ward or the Lower Ward the chant can’t decide. The factol has appointed House-

The council chamber atop the metal-works remains off limits to namers - even friends of Ombidias. It resembles a terrace with a low stone balustrade tucked in among a forest of chimneys. The chamber’s enclosed by a 23

I them grow. Godsman paladins believe they evolve by i n g others and expect those they aid to offer succor, Iers, biased toward beasts, frequently see their an!ds’potential unmatched in sentient races. priests seek to emulate the divine evolution , yet they know that no power leads to the trusting in the cycles of the natural world,

don’t dabble in this art. Godsman s’re best stolen and love forbidden

lief in the divine potential of every

aur, tieflings, dwarves, githymki, slaad, or moon do



want to drill into members that life is a forge, nalities and spirits. Tiiereke, to join the facall have to take their tum at the forge. A guards at the Great Foumby’s main gate that ed, and before he knows it~he’ssweating rivers works or one of the others If the back-break-

some sods have

in the fac$ion by asking. a more

handouts from these Bdievers had better look elsewbere. ALIGNMENT. Having what looks like a’compassionateoutlook doesn’t mean a Believer has to espouse the principles of goodness. Many Godsmen are evil (wanting to inhibit others’ progress toward godhood) or neutral (professing that noninterference in othen’ lives allows the multiverse to do its best work). Lawful Godsmen view regulations as essential in the process of evolving toward divinity. “FOUOW the ru~es,and a body’ll pass all the tests the multiverse offers up,” they insist. Chaotic Godsmen evaluate all situations case by case. After all, giving one beggar a free dinner might give him the energy to play a pennywhistle for the entertainment (and coins) of passersby. Feeding another might just convince him to put off doing anything for himself yet one more day. ’ Sometimes hilling a sod is the best thing a body can do for him. Neutral Godsmen fall somewhere in betweeu CLASS. A Godsman bas two preoccupations: his own progress up the chain of evolution and the progress of the rest of the bashers in the multiverse. ’Course, no two will express these concerns quite the same way - it depends on a body’s area of expertise. Fighters think battle teaches a basber life’s lessons, so they press conflict on others to

rovide very d i f k a k experience%Some

tasks. When a mentor conctotu?n’s responsibility - to

factor’for. evaluation. The candidate then undergoes a &S of tests: unusual puzzles or.challenging tasks, specifically probe his fears and limitations. ’Course, the factars don’t measure prospects against perfection. They jirst try to gauge the malleability of a namer in the lnzlltiversal forge. A similar test is administered at Ambar’s Palace to factotums chosen to advance,to factor rank. ION h m s : Regardless of rank, aM Godsmen gain the same special benefits and bindranes. Their belief that everyone can achieve godhood generally translates into fair treatment of all they encounter. This Feputation for a consistent lack of prejudice makes them well received throughout the Great Ring. They gain a +2 bonus (or +lo, percentage points) to all encounter reactions with planar





br'ings. Howcvcr, Godsmen c$t

be resurkrtrd or faised.

1: j:d.. With the DMk permission, they can be reincarnated as a .

PC race (chosen by the DM). Godsman priests who venerate a specific deity (as opposed to the Source) suffer from lack of ultimate faith. After all, they know a power ain't anything special -just some basher who occupies the next-to-last rung on the ladder of evolution. This priestly problem of faith results in -1 penalties to all saving throws. The Believers of the Source possess a faculty they don't truly understand. See, in the Great Ring, beliefs matter more than they do in prime-material worlds. Whole burgs can vanish or move because ofbelief - take PlagueMort, the gate-town that's regularly pulled onto the Abyss, then pushed out. Entire planes can be born or destroyed because of belief. And, because the Godsmen believe ordnary bashers may one day evolve into powers, they actually can. So far, the Godsmen've seen only one of their fellows evolve to this stage: the previous factol, cun;in,who grants her followers spells of healing and protection. Many think Ambar'll be next.

+THE CHANI)I+ Been for a spin on the wheel of incarnation more than once? Bashers whose brain-boxes're soaked with memories of past lives stay shy of the Great Foundry. See, Godsmen love to catch new subjects of study and pump 'em dry especially of death memories. 'Come. they give a body a bit ofjink for the trouble, but most say the gold ain't worth reopening the dead-book. The Hall of Speakers seems a safer spot to see Godsmen up close. Right now, the Dustmen propose a bill to "let the dead stay dead." They consider research into past lives obscene. Passage of their bfl means it'U become illegal to exhume the memories of the dead. The Harmonium supports a mandate giving tbemselves the right to destroy any printed material distributed without their approval. The Athar, with their piles of leaflets, feel most threatened by the motion, but the Godsmen don't like it any better. They figure that acquiring knowledge, written or otherwise, is the main way to evolve. Plus, what if the Hardheads decided they didn't approve of the biographies and journals of past lives in the Great Foundry's records chamber? It's likely neither measure'll become law. Precious little in the Hall of Speakers need wony the faction that keeps its eyes open wide. But plenty rattles the Cage and dances in the Ring that should command the respect of bashen with something in their brain-boxes. Zena just got back from Torch with a vampire bat on her tail. She killed this pursuer at the main gate of the Great Foundry and spilled a few indiscreet words to a guard there before reporting to the factol. Seems Zena discovered a magical shroud in one of the gate-town's spires:

stwen. A berk wrapped in the shroud's folds longer than it takes a basher'. to fill his lungs six times is dead, never to be reincamated. That's no shortcut to the unknown sublime, either; the sod would have no chance ever to ascend! Another, worn rumor rises from the it'that some Dustman factotum statio freed the fiend. Fosnatu'u fro for revenge, has focused its

timell prove more than a little tricky.

once a'yearfor only a day; the % s through each plane of the Great Ring Phne. - Ed.) Soam tokens look like a source token may enter the E t h e d at where in the mulliverse. Each taken w o r b resources. ceive the tokeis, since they're fairly The Godsmen possess a more unreliable resource in the relal5mShip between Zena and h a identicd twin sister, ZakariaS, a Sensate factor (PI/ P tieflig/ Rs/Soaeiy of Sensation/ NG). Zena has, on occa-



You call us the Madmen. But we're saner than any of you. We h o w the mul tiverse makes no sense, but we don't run around trying to convert it intc logic or anarchy. Nor do we spurn our brethren for r e a l i i g there's nothin! to what we say, like so many other factions do (that is the point, after all). Al you so-called leaders - your people have become my people because of your rigid angers; you've rejected your comrades, and they've come to the Cabal. Your lies and false values, dressed up as truths and ideals, havt failed your followers. Your castoffs become the stuff of my fac tion's strongest members, the core of mercy and despair. I'll grant that sometimes those who join the Cabal are un. able to find the necessary meaning inside themselves, yes, anr therein lies madness. But you must remember that the "truth" is always thf enemy of delusion, and delusion is a self-administered hyp. notic. You partake too often of that drug, mi friends. I pity you, particularly you Sen. sates. Your "faction" is merely a frivo lous social club foi shallow hedo nists who can' find any innei c meaning becausc you're always looking foi u t w d stimulus. What folly! Let me make an orrer. nead my m n , and I'll show you what it's like tc be a member of the Bleak Cabal. I'll show you that yes, there is despair ani anguish and sometimes even madness - but there is also compassion anc mercy for the unfortunate. Have no fear; I'll let you touch my mind, thougl: most who try reading a Bleaker's thoughts fail. Come now, don't you wan1 to see what sanity's really like? Don't you want to see the secret of the multiverse - that there is no secret? No? Pity. For sanity is sorrow, despair. pain of mind and soul and heart Torment, rage, and anguish at the loss of belief. There's no faith, no hope, nc trust - nothing to believe in. You say there must be an answer. There is not, Not the primes, not the petitioners (wouldn't the dead have answers?), no1 the proxies and not wen the powers have 7ke Answer. There's no sense tc life, to the world, to the multiverse, to it all. Is searching for inner meaning, then, the only salvation, the only bopei Indeed, is there even hope? Or is there only pain and despair, melancholia deep and dark and without end? n e world is merciless. And yet, that's t h c very reason why mercy is most needed, why we tend to the hungry and t h c homeless, the orphans and the mad. It's a conundrum, unfounded and unfocused. The only meaning is thal inside myself, which comes to the fore at times such as these, and it is my salvation, my hope, my anchor to this side of life. Bleakers live shorter liver than other faction members, and we change factols frequently. I've been facto1 for just over three years. That's considered quite long by my people. In fact, if I'm not mistaken, only one other blood's lasted longer than1 havc - and you've no doubt heard the stories of what happened to her. It's not madness, this bittersweet melancholia that lets us see into OUI inner hearts and minds. It's relief. For without this ability, we could not face the world. That's the dark of being a Madman. Don't look for meanings behind everything; accept what happens without question and look inward I've found inside me all I need to deal with the world, my world, and that ir a madness of my own making. - Facto1 Lhai

The Grim Retreat, as the Bleakers came to cal ange illness, struck each time their faction nu led too quic!dy. The factol and other high-ups in Cabal were frequently the lirst victims, leaving only i perienced members behind to take the reins. Today, after the Cabal‘s focused on achieving inner peace, they got the highest factol turnover rate of any faction. (Seve ex-factols are said to be still alive and functioning those terms truly apply to the insane - in the darkest cel of the Gatehouse.) Although modem-day Bleakers still coneact the Gri Retreat now and again (mostly because of the pressures an tensions of living in the teeming City of Doors], the tion’s learned a thing or two about mental health over centuries. The success rate of patients’ recovery is now q high. The faction also ~ e tos keep the number of Ble stable, currently maintaining a registered membership snme 10.000 beings in Sigil, though a considerably large population inhabits Pandemonium (the Madmen’s p plane of influence]. Lhar’s been factol for approxima three yem now, and he’s determined to maintain th cies established by the previous factols - mostly be they seem to work. It’s been over 30 years since a

ways been a need for some to repudiate the tenets of others. Cabalists believe in nothing, save whatever twisted meaning they can wring out of themselves. They look sadly on those who have a belief in something external. Indeed, the very concept of someone (like the Harmonium] believing there’s order to the multiverse isn’t just alien to the Bleakers - it’s anathema. Likewise, many factions have equal difficulty in understanding the Cabal‘s lack of belief, though the Doomguard, the Dustmen, the Revolutionary League, and the Xaositects all view the Bleakers with some sympathy. m e Sign of One’s been hated by the Cabal ever since they took credit for the mysterious death of Nobey, a former Bleaker factol; many feel Nobey was “thought” to death. -Ed.) Ever since the faction was horn more than nine centuries ago, acceptance of the Bleakers has waxed and waned according to whichever philosophies had the biggest toehold in Sigil at the time. During periods of intense recruitment by other factions, when a factol would try to boost his numbers for some scheme or another, the Bleak Cabal’s numbers would fall to the point of almost nonexistence. (Neverin the Cabal’s history has the faction I m l N D B E I N G mAD: m e n s e h g v o l I RIND Y 8 U R + H I N K I N G I’m IhAD. activelytriedtorecruitmembers, instead growing solely the MadBleakerwin A BLEAKER I N A HEA.kED via word of mouth. of the Gatehouse h P H I L 8 S 8 P H I CAL D I S C U S S I 8 N %d.) But in time, the dropped dramatically, other factions’ numbers swelled and grew unfortune stems from th gainly. When attitudes Cabal taking a greater eventually shifted and some in Sigil. Oddly, of all the other philosophy came to the fore, folks’d factions in the Cage, all “iumu_ on the latest bandwagon. At the end Bleakers are argua of all these cycles of up and down and up and down, the most charitable. Why do they like to help many members would renounce their vows, seeking freeSome no doubt findrelief in caring for sods worse dom in the nihilistic approach offered by the Cabal - that they are; a few Bleakers even suffer from messi plexes and want to save the world from madness an the multiverse made no sense. Thus, the Bleak Cabal regularly became the single most powerful faction in the Cage; But most just figure that hy doing good works, they’ll m every few hundred years, its point of view prevailed closer to finding the tme meaning that lies within. And sides, expanding the faction’s presence and influence i throughout most of the city. Although the Bleakers had (and still have) some desire Sigil is never a had thing. to mold others to their way of thinking, the very nature of More than a century ago they opened up an almsho being Madmen defeated them. See, when their numbers inin their faction headquarters, helping to care for the p and lost. It still operates today, along with sm creased, so did the pressures and tensions of dealing with kitchens throughout the city. These places of safe h the loss of belief. Particularly stressful was the inflnx of open to a body in need of a warm new members, for many of them hadn’t yet found the peace and acceptance notable in older Bleakers. And when or creed. And if the sod happens to be a Bleaker, he and his cutters can get a cot in a back room for a night. The Frater the Cabal’s ranks became glutted, the tensions became too nity of Order, the Harmonium, and the Mercykillers all vi much for older faction members. Many went truly insane, such concern for the welfare of the city‘s poor with so fleeing Sigil or retreating into the depths of the Gatehouse. thing other than a compassionate eye. These lawful (The Gatehouse is an asylum that serves as faction headtions’ve had their run-ins with the Bleak Cabal in the pas quarters for the Bleak Cabal. - Ed.) Most often, this madand they’re suspicious of the Madmen’s motives. ness lingered until merciful death.




IVIOS~or me those wno work ar me lurrnens re conrenr to simply dish out food, but one Bleaker in particular’s quite well known for always having a joke or a good word to pass on - which is probably why other faction members think he’s gone over the edge. Fact is, his real name - if he ever had one - has long been lost, and folks just call him “Addle-pated,” or “Addle” for short.

ADDLE -PA*ED Male tiefling planar Cook at the Cold Bowl and 0-level NPC, Bleak Cabal Cbaoticgood STR 10

DEX 12 CON 9


9 11 14

HP 6 AC 10 THACO 20


Male half-orc planar 8th-level fighter, Bleak Cabal (factol) Chaotic neutral lm 10 Wls 14 CHA 8


Lhar’s sought his parents - to no avail - ever since. - Ed.) ..^,.,. Even today, the C A N P R E P A R E F*R Gatehouse is all +HEIR I N S A N I - k Y . that Lhar knows. f A C 4 - e L LHAR. He’s intimately aware of eve+ G E + + I N G READY f e R squarefoot of , the structure, having spent many hours as a child roaming the gray-slated halls Aghast at the growing squalor of the Hive surrounding the Gatehouse, b a r realizff the increasing need for expanded facilities and more faction members to help run the headquarters. As such, he’s planning to build an additional wing jutting out of the hack of the Gatehouse to house more orphans and indigents. Further, he’s planning the potentially risky maneuver of increasing membership in the faction. History shows the strong possibility of triggering another Grim Retreat in the Cabal, but Lhar hopes to stagger the inflnxes and somehow avoid the tranma of past increases. Lhar’s set up soup kitchens in the othm wards (all of which are considerably ncber than the Hive] in the hope of gaining donations, for the proposed wing will cost considerably more than what’s in the Bleakem’ coffers. Likewise, he’s creating his network of Madmen to understand more of the political nature of Si;too often in the past, Bleakers‘ve turned a blind eye to events influencing the other factions. Lhar wants to he prepared for any event, and he wants to understand the forces moving throughout the Cage. He’s struggling to keep his faculties together long enough to raise the jink necessary for the wing’s construction. Once it’s finished, b a r plans to succumb to the Grim Retreat Udiie his predecessors, however, Lhar intends on returning tohis position as factol - something never before accomplished in Madman history. To thd end, he’s promoted four bloods in his, faction, in tbe hopes that they’ll help see him through his coming madness. m e four highups - Ezra, Tessali, Tyvold, and Sruce - are discussed on page 31. - Ed.) L...L,..

The head (and only) cook at the Cold Bowl soup kitchen, Addle’s a Bleaker whose outlook on life ain’t very bleak - in fact, it’s downright cheerful. Addle’s form of madnes took a strange turn several years ago after an extended stay in the Mad Bleaker wing of the Gatehouse, and be’s been in a giddy, manic state ever since. The Cold Bowl - only a dozen blocks from the Gatehouse - sits in the grimiest, most dispiriting part of the Hive. Still, Addle’s happy to be working, and the tiefling chatters on endlessly to the poor sods who lime up for a meal. Every now and then he also helps out at Allesha’s Pantry, another soup kitchen in the Hive. Addle returns to the Gatehouse once a week for sessions with those who care for barmy Bleakers, bringing with him tales of things he’s seen and heard in the Hive. M o s t of which get chalked up to madness. - Ed.) Addle’s considered little more than a simpleton by many of the Gatehouse Bleakers, but outside the faction headquarters he’s higbly respected by the homeless and huugry of the Hive.

STR 16 DEX 9 CON 14

Lhar was horn in the Hive, d e worst part of Sigil, to a blind human father and an OK mother. His parents came to the Cage seeking only acceptance; his mother’s grotesque appearance made them outcasts on their Prime Material world. They found that acceptance, but it didn’t put food on their table. To make matters worse, shortly after Lhar’s twelfth birthday, his mother became pregnant again. The couple couldn’t care for a newborn and a fast-growing adolescent, so they turned Lhar over to the orphanage at the Gatehouse. the establishment where d e familv’d re-



EQUIPMENT:Banded leather armor, bastard sword, short sword. Lhar disdains magical items, fearing they can warp the user. He wields a bastard sword made for his physique and fighting style (+2 bonus to both attack and damage). SPECIAL: Lhar has standard fighter and faction abilities; as a half-orc, he also has infravision to 60 feet.

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+THE G A + € H @ U S E


Located on a slight hill on the very edge of the Hive War in Sigil, the massive Gatehouse lies at the end of a curving, elevated road called the Bedlam Run. Once known as the Bedlam Blight, the building’s original function was to house the contagious. Five hundred years ago, the Bleakers took over the asylum, renaming it the Gatehouse (herks in the Hive swear that’s because the building sits at the edge of the Lady of Pain’s Mazes). Since they arrived, the temtory surrounding the building’s deteriorated even further, despite the positive influence the faction’s had on the ward. The central part of the Gatehouse is a tall, semicimular, roofless tower with numerous sprawling wings attached to it. The Bleakers admit to adapting their faction symbol from a design inlaid in the tiled floor of the tower. (Who or what the tiled pattern represented has been lost in the millennia; the Gatehouse is an ancient structure, even by planar standards. The Madmen derive a certain ironic serenity from using an empty symbol in a world where nothing means anything. - Ed.) The entry to the building looks like nothing more than a giant portcullis, hut the steel bars are folly 5 feet in diameter. Scholars have long speculated on what the former inhabitants could’ve wanted so desperately to keep out. The size of the gate makes it impossible to move. However, the gaps between the bars are 15 feet apart, Wide enough to allow f thronging poor and the lost inside.

During the last hundred years or so, the Gatehouse has been opened up to the indigent Outside the headquar ters, sods without a coin to their name line the street, wait* ing for their turn to enter. They’re looking for a hot meal and a bed for a few days before having to return to their slums, and they canusually fmd it in the Almshouse wing of the asylum. But the Gatehouse also holds an orphanage and several different wings for those whose minds have snapped. Many sad parents wait in line with children they can no longer care for, ready to hand them over to the orphanage, and just as many tearful children wait to commit their aging, addle-coved parents to a mental health wing. Sad fact is, most of the folks who wait patiently to enter the doors are mentally ill. Some seek treabnent on their own; others are brought hy caretakers as a last resort The Cabal hies to accommodate everyone, hut it can only let in 50 sods each day, regardless of which wing they’re directed to. The rest must wait outside, the line of those seeking admittance snaking down the Bedlam Run and hack into the Hive. Some parties wait weeks before finally getting inside the tower. Even if a body only wants to ask a Bleaker a few questions, waiting in line is the only way most sods ever get into the Gatehouse. An impatient herk could swap places in line with someone who’s been waiing longer - for the right price. Faction members and friendly high-ups get in without having to wait. A sham cutter’ll realize that the constant stream of desperate bodies outside the Gatehouse atkacts knights of the cross-trade faster I



than razorvine brings the dabus. Many berks who need often cramped, dirty, and squalid. He’s woefully undermuscle for shadyjobs here and there just flash a hit ofjink, staffed, having only a handful of helpen at the Gatehouse and a dozen hungry sods from the he’ll scramble to sign - most of the Bleakers in his jurisdiction are out in Sigil up. And there’s plenty of peelers looking to cheat a operating the kitchens. In times of great need, Ezra can dimwitted body out of his last copper piece. Most of the cram upwards of 3,000 homeless sods in his wing, though criminals who prey on the folks in line come from the that leaves virtually no room for sleeping or moving about Gatehouse Night Market, an underworld bazaar a few in the small (2Wfoot by 20-foot) quarters. blocks deeper into the Hive where the right price11 buy seTessali IF‘]/& gray elf/F5,W7,T6/Bleak Cabal/CG) and crets, stolen property, or even slaves. Tyvold P1/& gray elf/F5,W7P6/Bleak Cabal/CG) are elven ’Course, that’s not to say that the criminal element is cousins from Arborea. Their most important contribution all a body’ll find near the Gatehouse. Bleaker artists canvas thus far to the Bleaken’ &ament philosophy was a mazethe long line of sods, boldly sharing the sour fruits of their l i e , walled garden to the hack of the Gatehouse. Greenery’s introspection with the a bit rare in Sigil. hut the Gatehouse masses. The ahnosphere outhas a ful-time staff side the asylum is bften that of 40 members I +AS+ E NAUGH+ BU+ I R of a funereal circus, with the tending the grounds w ~PiP EiD WUNO latest anguished poems, elegant I+ E AhLL +He and fighting off dirges, and gloomy stunts all hatrazorvine. A N D R E N D S ALL tling for a spectator’s eye. If a body Tessali’s got the forshows any interest, one of the midable job of trying to control A ELfl)KH-lK “Bleaknii (asthey’recalled) ~ ) U + S I D+.E~ the aggressive berks in the Crimiwill most likelv take him hack naIly and Irre~evahlyInsane to an artist’s tavern or cafe a wing. The b d e s confined to few blocks away, there to beg his sponsorship or simply disthese tight (5 feet by 15 feet) quarters are truly the worst of SigiI, and it’s mostly their screams that passersby hear cuss the great Cabalist poets of the last hundred years. Inthroughout the day. The two-story wing can hold 188 padeed, a pub called The Weary Head is a well-known gathering place for Bleaknii of every artistic persuasion. tients in individual rooms. Unfortunately, it’s currently full to capacity and then some, with many rooms holding two berks each. Because these inmates are the ones most likely by to escape from the Gatehouse, they’re allowed to exto THE reW#!R A N D * H E W I N G S ercise only in the two walled courtyards at the ends of the main wings, and then only under heavy guard. The central tower of the Gatehouse houses the faction’s Tyvold has perhaps the easiest area to govem: the Orbureaucratic offices, as well as the living quarters of varphanage and Insane Asylum wing. He has a staff of 45 ous high-up officials: Facto1 Lhar resides on the fifth floor. Bleaken, but Tyvold’s never at a loss for new assistants. Folks who’ve waited in line are ushered into the open area Many cutters who join the Bleak Cabal have a deep interbehind the huge portcullis for processing. Half a dozen est in mental health and in healing others, though few Bleakers are posted here each day, answering questions have the courage to apprentice in Tessali’s wing, and apand directing those in need of help to the right wing prenticeship to Sruce is by invitation only. Furthermore, i. (only fellow Bleakers are allowed into the faction quareach of the three floors in Tyvold’s wing is, for the most ters). Sods being admitted to the asylum are separated part, a large, open space, which makes cleaning and obserfrom their caretakers and sent to another Bleaker vation easy. The top floor is earmarked for Sigil’s orphans, hovering nearby, who escom the new inmate to children age 14 and younger. The bottom two floors are the proper wing. Only the processing rooms lodevoted to mentally ill folks who’re expected to recover, cated in the first floor of the tower are open for given a little time and treaiment. public viewing; the upper floors of the tower are The wizard Sruce (Pr/ P humanW14/Bleak Cabal/CN) for Bleakers only. is in c h a e of the fiw-story Mad Bleaker wing, the area Lhar’s promoted four Bleakers - Ezra, Tessali, that houses faction members in the throes of the Grim ReTyvold, and Sruce - to the high-up status of factor; treat. She’s originally from Krynn, though she didn’t venthe four are second only to Lhar himself. They serve as ture onto the planes until her fiftieth year. Now 70 years administrators in the Gatehouse, each overseeing one of old, only her haunting eyes betray what she’s seen and ene four wings. dured the past two decades. The pressure to heal the mad The scholar Ezra p l / 6 bariaur/O-level/Bleak Cabal/ Bleakem and return them to their duties is enormous, but NG] runs the Almshouse wing. He regulates the number of Sruce does what she can. The wing contains 280 banen beings who’re let in each day, how long they’re allowed to cells, each 10 feet by 10 feet, though currently only three stay, and what work [if any) they must perform in exfloors hold Cabalists struggling to regain their minds. change for the charity. The conditions in Ezra’s wing are I



I ‘



Sruce lets out the extra rooms to travelers. Bleakers stay for free, but others must pay 10 gold pieces per day - and take a solemn vow never to discuss the odd sounds heard at night. The cells are by no means luxury accommodations, as they’re meant for Bleakers who feel they’re M y going insane. Fact is, each cell contains only an old straw pallet for bedding. The outside of the windows are lined with bars, the inside with black, dilapidated shutters that always remain closed. [Among the Hive children, it’s a mark of bravery to run up to one af these windows and try to peek through the cracks in the shutters. - Ed.) When a Bleaker commits himself to the wing (or is taken there by friends), one of Sruce’s staff escorts bim to the nearest unoccupied cell and closes the ironbound door, locking it with a heavy steel bar. A metal shutter slides into place across the door, cutting off all light and life. How long the Bleaker chooses to remain there - forgoing all food and drink, in a state of transcendent despair - is up to him. A number have died in their cells, never finding the strength to grasp the faction’s code. Most, however, cry out their reaffirmation of the Bleaker philosophy, even as they collapse from starvation or dehydration. A staff member finds the fallen sod sooner or later. If be’s not dead, his door’s left open by the worker so the Bleaker can later stumble away on his own. But if the Bleaker looks bad, he’s taken to an upper floor and tended to until he’s well enough to leave. (The factionforbids its m e m b m to discuss the Mad Bleaker wing with anyone other than fellow Madmen. -Ed.) Fact is, no matter which wing they’re taken to, most folks eventually leave the Gatehouse fully recovered. But they all keep mum about their Weatment, saying only that the Bleakers were “kind” to them.




Playing a character who’s a member of the Bleak Cabal is likely to pose a challenge for many players - and it’s equally likely that the faction’s too grim to interest many players. After all, it’s hard to play someone whose outlook on life is, by choice, depressing and fatalistic. But the opportunity to play a character on the edge of madness can be a challenge - and exciting, too, as the faction lends itself well to numerous possibilities. For example. a Bleaker can apprentice with Ezra to aid the homeless, with Tjvold to help orphans, with Tessali to watch the dangerous barmies, or with Srnce to tend Bleakers in the depths of the Grim Retreat.

The question often arises as to why any Bleaker would bother to join a party of adventurers or undertake any sort of quest in the first place. Wouldn’t it be easier to remain in Sigil and perform charitable works to e a e the pain and suffering of others, as well as one’s own? Wouldn’t it be more fitting to lie in bed all day and refuse to show interest in anytbing the world bas to offer? Perbaps, but a true Madman welcomes his duty to embrace the pain of life, wrestle with the demons of insanity, and emerge the stronger for it all. For the same reaSon why the Cabal endures the tormenting winds of Pandemonium, so do Bleakers set out on adventures - the madness of it all moves a cutter farther along on the path toward selfawareness. After all, the faction’s core belief says that a body’s got to find meaning witbin bimself, but such meaning can’t come without first experiencing the intrinsic folly of the rest of the multiverse. Exploring the ruins of a castle or escorting an infant prince across a desert won’t mean much to a Bleaker other than what be can take away from it - bow the experience can help him look inward and find truth. A Bleaker doesn’t dwell on treasure the way other adventurers often do, but that doesn’t mean be won’t take his fair share. He’ll hold on to it, prepared to spend it in whatever fashion he thinks best - perhaps to bolster a shuggliig orphanage or aid a sage’s medical studies toward relieving mental illnesses.But if he can’t think of a suitable use for a pile of jink, a Bleaker just might leave it where it lies - one of the many reasons why other factions call them Madmen. Of c o w , all of this assumes that a Bleaker’s made his daily saving throw against the futility of existence. As stated in A Player’s Guide to the Planes in the PIANESCAPE Campaign Setting boxed set, a Bleaker must roll ld20 at the start of each game day. A result of 20 means the sod‘s thrown into a fit of melancholia, overcome by the pointlessness of life. He won’t take any actions unless his comrades can provide a convincing philosophical argument as to why be should bother. Demonstrating that the action will relieve the Bleaker’s depression may work, as might appealing to the sods charitable inclinations. However, the mere sight of a friend being menaced by a monster isn’t enough to rouse a Bleaker who’s failed his daily roll. What’s more, a Madman who is role-played to the hilt is likelv amuments that his < to steel bimself against ” critters throw at him repeatedly, forcing them to come up with new and better reasons for the leaker to take action. A Bleaker’s daily roll can get him into trouble in other ways, though. A roll of 1 indicates a state of manic euphoria. The character’s overcome with flights fancy and free association, and he’s likely to believe that he’s some sort of a messiah. Fortunately, this only lasts for one day. To role-play t his manic state of mind

+ 32 +



. --&

effectively, a player can speak very quickly, jump from one thought to another without logic, and respond to everything he hears by word association.

ALIGNMENT. Bleakers can be of any alignment save lawful. Lawfully aligned characters can’t stomach the basic premise of the Cabal, that the multiverse doesn’t make sense, for without sense there’s no order. However, further distinctions of alignment seldom trouble Bleakers. “Good” and “evil” aren’t necessarily the standard definitions to Madmen; instead, they prefer ‘sanity” and “insanity.” The thin line that separates these extremes for any given Bleaker is often a faint one, blurred by tying to live and keep at bay a body’s inner demons. A member of the Cabal can be quite sane one day, and a fortnight later he in the throes of a depression bordering on true insanity. It’s all a matter of outlook Similarly, Bleakers of opposite alignments can work well together despite clashing viewpoints. If the facto1 assigns two Bleaken to tend the soup kitchens near the Foundry, they will. The chaotic evil fellow will dish up broth with as much speed and determination as his chaotic good partner, though his heart may not be as gladdened by the deed. The two Bleakers have a far more primal urgency to deal with - their own internal struggle for sanity. At one point or another, all Madmen share the pain inherent to their faction, and not even alignment can separate two Bleakers who know the tenors the other bas endured. CLASS.Intelligent characters - notably wizards, priests, bards, and other classes with scholarly inclinations - are particularly attracted to the Bleak Cabal, with its emphasis on the mental over the physical. Thieves and tighters can also join the faction, but these classes typically do so later in life. Perhaps a warrior sees too much Uing, or a highwayman spends too many years on the run - whatever the case, the burden of life takes its toll and sends him a bit off the edge. Their haunted pasts drive them to even greater acts of sacrifice and compassion. In game terms, this means that all Bleaker fighters and thieves of 10th level or above must turn over 50%of all treasure gained to a local &ty (most likely the soup kitchens run hy the Cabal, but not always). By trying to soothe their consciences in this manner, these characters receive some measure of relief from despair. Interestingly, these characters gain one extra Charisma point for every 2 levels they rise (regardless of their racial limitations), to a maximum Charisma of 25. An aura of beneficence surrounds these characters, even if their physical appearances are displeasing; they’re looked on with great favor and often considered genuine heroes by folks in Si.When a Bleaker’s Charisma score reaches 25, be’s automatically granted the best possible outcome in any meeting with those of opposing viewpoints - a Harmonium patrol won’t even scrag the Madman for jaywalking.


known to any Bleaker, then comes the initiation period,

won’t explain what to do, w

for acceptance, but the Madman’il change their minds in the face of such m a e d disinterest or downright antagonism. But those w h hearts are truly bleak, whose will is such that they persevere, eventually get accepted into the faction as nTypically, this initiation period lasts from six months to one year. A sod who makes it through the initiation bas to drop his last name or family name; all lnembwof the Cabal are known only by their given name. It‘s a sign of their willingness to give up a life of past ‘meanin&“

FACIION AB^. Those who perswere amid make it into the faction find themselves with a number of tied to their beliefs. First of all, as stated in the Campaign Setting, Bleakers ducing.spells such as chaos, Otto’s irresistible dance, hideous laughter. They’re a h allowed a saving throw vs. spell against all ESP spells directed at them. What’s more, Bleakers are natur;bly immune to certain psionic abilities, including e@ whip, psychic crush, and psychic surgery. And once a factkn member reaches 7th level, be gains an ability that’s a his own immunity: the power to abs duced madness in others. This power ven insane by spel

must first meatate for one hour, thoughts. [Thisis O J ? ~ impassibl time to cleanse his mind $or the insane b e e s got to hold stiu, either vohmtarily or otherwise, and the Bleaker then the victim’s head. The mass barmy’s body grows numb, absorbed by the Bleaker. The process ld12+4 bows to complete. If‘the Bleaker must start over; otherwise, suecess and the victim regains full mental hpaIth i However, the Madman’ll suffer days afterward, during which ti sorbed insanity.

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A spellcasting Bleaker of 5th level and above who's served the faction well is taught the use of the following spells, both of which were expressly created by the Cabal:

DESPAIR (Enchantment/Charm) 4th-level wizard spell Range: 30 yards Components: V, S Casting Time: 4 Duration: 1 round/XP level Area of Effect: 2d4 creatures Saving Throw: Snecial in a 20-foot by 20-foot square

Despair allows a Bleaker wizard to share his world view with others. When this spell is cast, 2d4 sentient creatures (of Intelligence 3 or better) in the area of effect must successfully save vs. spell or lapse int- severe depression that lasts for one round for each level of the caster. ' Victims of despair are unable to attack, cast spells, move, or even en- ~:: gage in basic activities such as eating or drinking. Berks suffering from despair don't . even bother to defend the- ~.~~ selves; opponents can automati:'. ~ : j a cally stnke, disarm, or bind them Ai out resistance. If a body's bound or dam aced. another saving throw to sh " , he gets " the effects of the spell. Interestingly. primes and members of the Free League are somewhat resistant to this spell, perhaps because they're not stuck on any particular philosophy; they gain a +2 bonus on their saving throws. ~


vund to have any effect, hut it lasts as long as the wizard :oncentrates, to a maximum of one round per level (the Nizard can't move or do anything else while maintaining h e howl). The effects linger even after the spell ends, lasting as long as the spell was maintained. When casting the howl of Pandemonium, the wizard can opt to affect all creatures witbin 30 feet, or he can channel a cone 60 feet long hy 20 feet wide. The material component is a pebble from Pandemonium, which must be consumed by the caster. All matures in the area of effect are deafened and disoriented; communication of any kind is impossible. They also suffer -2 penalties to their saving throws -7d attack rolls. Nonmagical missiles are deflected by the force of the howl, and sods who try to physically approach the caster must successfully save vs. spell be* fore doing so. Furthermore, all sound-based attacks are negated, drowned out hy the howl. F i s spell has no e n c t on Creatures or petitioners native to F'Pandemonium. - Ed.) In addition to the above effects, creatures whose Hit Dice or vels atp lower than the spellcaster's st successfully save vs. spell or become e DM should roll ldlO for sods who fail md consult the table below to see how they're affected. Bny creatures with 2 orfewer Hit Dice who fail their suving throws are simply driven into a catatonic state that !asts for 7dh hnurs. -Ed.)

HOWLOF PANDEMONIUM (Conjuration/Summoning) 6th-level wizard spell Components: V, S, M Range: 0 Duration: Special Casting Time: 6 Saving Thmw: Special Area of Effect: 30-foot-radius circle or 60-foot by 20-foot cone Although the howl of Pandemonium spell derives power from the plane of Pandemonihm, it can be used by Bleakers anywhere in the multivene. Howl enables a mage to channel the screaming winds of the plane through his own body, giving voice to a numbing wail that incapacitates all nearby. The howl must be maintained for at least one +35+



1 2-6 7-9

Wander away for duration of effect. Stand confused for one round, then roll again. Attack nearest creature for one round; roll again. Act normally for one round, then roll again.

Course, members of the Cabal have to endure a few setbacks along with their new abilities. The most immediate problem is the daily l d 2 0 roll against futility. A Bleaker who fails the roll three days in a row (or five days during a single month) may be considered for incarceration in the Mad Bleaker wing of the Gatehouse. 'Course, it's up to him whether or not he wants to commit himself to the asylum. But if he chooses to postpone or forgo the


trip, he faces the possibility of extended madness - the very next time his daily ld20 roll results in either a 1 or a 20, the Bleaker immediately goes insane and wiU remain in that condition until he’s taken to the Gatehouse for treatment. What’s more, the player must make the roU~secretly, so other players won’t automatidly know if the Bleaker’s gone mad. While insane, the Bleaker may wander off if left alone, may try to lead his group into trouble, won’t be able to take direction or cast spells, and won’t make a distinction between enemies and friends in combat Any faction member who enters the Mad Bleaker wing for treatment is allowed as much time as he needs to recover, receiving the care (such as it is) of S N C ~and her workers. Only one of three things can happen.



ness and

ye but a blessing long in a multiveme


The Bleaker dies in his cell. There’s a base 10% chance of death; for each Constitution point above 14, the chance is reduced by 1%. After much soul-xarcbing, the Bleaker returns to his faith in the Cabal and is released. He won’t be subject to extreme melancholia for the next six ~ e A + L L I h A D N f S S I S IhELANCH months of game time (he needn’t - THE LAS+ PUBLIC S + A + € m € N roll a ld20

m e m fX-fAC+@L T LLYS ALm @ N

If the Bleaker neither dies nor reaffirms his faith, I his will to live is shattered by the horrors witbin his mind and the weakened physical condition brought on by inaction. He can do nothing to escape, nor can he intimate to anyone that he wants to escape.

- 1

In this last case, cue him. But even if they make it throngb the Gatehouse to his cell, the Madman’s l i l y to scream at the sight of his former friends and resist rescue. Should the group succeed in taking the Bleaker from the Gatehouse and care for him intently, the sod‘s g covery after ld4 game months of rest (the chance is in-

su-bmg fears that he’ll follow in sors, Esmus Tollysalmo~

over 14). However,

friend to the Gatehouse for treatment. Even if a Bleaker keeps making his daily ld20 roll and longing to the faction. All members of the Bleak Cabal suffer from a shortened life span, as years of living with mad-

ening that berks - an

+ 36 +

The Bleakers' headquarters is the source of more than one rumor. A few Madmen who've apprenticed with Tyvold in the orphanage complain that the gray elfs not the least hit interested in caring for the children who live there - that he leaves their welfare entirely in the hands of a berk named Vicsek (F'l/& githzerai/F3/Bleak Cabal/CN). Under the githzerai's care, the orphanage seems to he in a constant state of chaos, with children disappearing for days or even weeks at a time. Speaking of Tyvold, he's mentioned an odd story told by the giddy Addle-pated on the cook's most recent visit to the Gatehouse. Addle reported that he's worried about a friend who used to visit the Cold Bowl soup kitchen daily: a mute orc woman who looks like she got mashed in the gears of Mechanus one too many times. The Bleaker says she was a jumpy sort, always looking hack over her shoulder like she was afraid of something creeping up behind her. And now she hasn't come into the Cold Bowl in weeks.

Facto1 Lhar's in L"



11 However


hing KO dc le lawful fa er all the T to berk


Some even reNow the factio


"The explosion woke me on the morning of my eighteenth birthday. "I tumbled from my bed in the Leihani Inn and ran to the veranda. There, in the distance, the mountains the natives called the Sleeping Sisters were finally erupting! The volcanoes' rumbles grew louder, drowning out the screams of my fellow tenants, and the spouts began to belch forth spumes of black smoke. Eagerly I jumped over the railing, landing a dozen feet below in the soft volcanic sand lining this side of the island. Then I began running toward the twin mountains, fighting against the flow of panicked natives racing the other way. 'Outside the village limits I ran, my eyes never strayine from the spectacle of devastation before me. he volcanoes rumbled again, this time knocking me to the ground. A jagged cleft in the earth appeared not morethana half-dozen strides away, and I marveled at the destruction all around me. I regained my feet and looked up, JUL m time to see the Sisters blow! "The tops of the mountains burst upward, spewing pieces of rock and earth so far that a few specks even spattered me, searing my skin. What sweet decay! My senses were enveloped by the spectacle of livid red scars streaking across the brilliant morning sky. More rumbles, and then a blast of noise that threatened to knock me back down again. I then beheld a sight more perfect than any I'd ever seen before or since: the flow of red-black magma, streaking down the mountainsides and devouring all within its path. Trees, boulders, and everything else fell before that monstrous flow, incapable of standing against the force of pure destruction. With awesome majesty the flow picked up speed, consuming the land before me, as my body was consumed with sheer primal joy. 'I shivered in ecstasy."




-+€I€ EDI-+eR


From the private journals of Facto1 Pentar

+ HARBINGERS e~ DBCAY + The Doomguard's one of the more troublesome factions in Sigil; many berks just can't get a good handle on them. Sinkers - as members of the faction are called - cherish the forces of entropy, dancing while everythiig around them decays, falls into ruin, and disintegrates with the passage of time. The fate of the multiverse is a foregone conclusion: It's all supposed to crumble and fade away, so why rage against it? If the gate-town of Plague-Mort's about to slide onto the Abyss, let it. Better yet, help it along! Few Sinkers are content to just sit back and watch things fall apart; they do their best to assist the decay, whether that means taking a direct action (like starting a fuel or preventing one Pike stopping a herk from putting out a lire). 'Course, members of this faction have to keep an eye on the big picture. Most S i e r s don't go around tearing up roads or putting sick folks in the dead-book; sure, the multiverse is going to collapse, but it doesn't have to happen overnight. Allowing a river to take a thousand years to erode its

S €I3

m E DAY,

YANEK. N @ N E @F+HlS WILL B E Y e U R S .




banks is everv hit as strong and beautiful an act of entropy as is setg a fire. A lot of S i e r s ’ d even prefer the river, as it’s a natural force of decay - one that’s surely meant to be. Le Like the Mercykillers, the Doomguard owes its charter to the Great Upheaval, when the Lady of Pain forced the nearly 50 factions in Sigil to reduce their number to only 15. The Lady’s shakeup - a glorious example of entropy in its own right - made the loose gang of Sinkers formalize their organization and set themselves a purpgse: patrolling the streets of the Cage. But the idea of guards promoting disorder and decay didn’t sit well with the other factions; the Harmonium was sent in, and war broke out. The Sinkers retreated to the Armory, which they conquered handily, as no berk‘d ever had the audacity to attack the monstrous structure. With fresh supplies, the battle raged for months. It was thought that the Lady of Pain might step in to set things right, but she never did; only her dabus took part, repairing mads and public s h c tures damaged in the fighting. It finally took a vote of the other factols in the Hall of Speakers - one that threatened to revoke the Doomguard‘s faction status - to make them call off hostilities. The Sinkers even signed a blood pact swearing that they’d never again instigate a war in the Cage. In exchange, the Doomguard got to keep the Armory as its headquarters and settled into a new duty: making and dispensing weaponry, a task well suited to the faction’s beliefs. Even today, the enmity between the Sinkers and the Hardheads continues to boil; their philosophies are just too directly opposed for any kind of coming together. Other lawful factions have a similarly hard time dealing with the Doomguard. The Fraternity of Order bies to stem the tide of entropy with its namw interpretations of law, and the Mercykillers long to punish Sinkers who take criminal ac‘ions to further the cause of decay. On the o d e r hand, the kmmguard has a strong ally in the DWmen; fact is, Fac01 Skall was instrumental in preventing the rest of the actols from revoking the Doomguard‘s status during the car. And while the Bleak Cabal scorns the idea that the nultiverse has any goal, entropy or otherwise, Bleakers nd Sinkers find common ground in decay. But order lurks even in the midst of enmpy. Followng the multiversal Rule of Three, the Doomguard often inds itself split into three quarrelling subgroups, each tak-

r 1

ing a different approach to fostering decay. The first clique thinks that the multiverse ain’t crumbling fast enough. These S i e r s periodically embark upon rampages of destruction: defacing or dismantling personal . property, in public . . disrupting .trade or negotiation places, and so on. They’re countered by a more sophisticated buncb of S i e r s who take a longer view, seeing the construction of a new bridge as part of the process of decay. After all, masons chip the stone, miners empty a lode of iron,laborers add more creaks to their worn bodies, and razorvine weakens the span until it eventually collapses. According to this group, the disintegration of the mul&ene is right on schedule; no need to huny it dong. And finally,a tbird pack of Sinkers - albeit a minority thinks that everything’s falling apart too fast, that they must take steps to slow the rate of decay. Too much destruction too quickly isn’t entropy; it’s just bedlam. Interestingly, Factol Pentar’s lent her support to the first group, the most violent of the three. She incites her Sinkers to acts of arson and vandalism, especially if the blame can be pinned on a sod from another faction. (Which causes more chaos and anarchy, two powegkl tools ofentmpy. - Ed.) Yet rumblings of discontent brew in the ranks: the old-fashioned Sinkers wbo prefer a slower or more natural erosion of order disapprove of the factol’s activities.

THE D e e I I I L e R D S The faction high-ups most loyal to Factol Pentar are her factors, called the Doomlords. Only the most powerful and ruthless Sinkers get picked to be Doomlords; they must then undergo a transformation on the Negative Energy Plane so horrible that it’s spoken of only in whispers and innuendo. When they retum, they wear robes and blackand-red masks emblazoned with the faction’s skull synbol. The chant’s that the Doomlords never again remove their masks. The transformation’s also said t o drain a Sinker of his original personality, remaking him into a zealous ambassador of decay. ’ The faction has four greater Doomlords - though other 1csserDoomlords exist - who’re somehow tied to the quasielemental planes nearest the desolate Negative Energy Plane. Currently, the four greater Doomlords are: Devland PI/&half-elf/F14/Doomguard/uardlLN), the Doomlord of Ash: Nagaul (Pl/ P dwarf/PlO/Doomguard/NG), the Doomlord of Vacuum; Roth (Pl/& tiefling/F14/Doomguard/CN),the Doomlord of Sdt; and Pereid (Pr/ P human/ T19/Doomguard/LN), the Doomlord of Dust. The four spend most of their time in the faction’s citadels on their respective planes, but they sometimes return to the Armory to take a more direct hand in Sier a f f i i . To aid the cause, the Doomlords create champions of entropy - cutters charged with overcoming specific threats to the process of decay. For instance, a champion might

oppose a priest who's preventing a town from slipping off into the Ethereal. The Doomlords also give their champions blades of tremendous power specially forged on the quasielemental planes - each specifically designed to combat a single threat. Once the threat's been negated, the blade turns to dust. 'Course, disposing with a major threat may take considerable time; an entropy champion might spend his whole life trying to complete a mission, passing his blade on to a worthy successor if necessary. An entropy blade is generally a short sword imbued with a +2 bonus to attack and damage rolls. However, when used against the threat it was designed to fight, the bonus increases to +4. Entropy blades aren't subject to the usual adjustments applied to magical weapons crossing the planes - after all, entropy is everywhere. When used against their intended threat, the blades have other powers, too, depending on the plane where they were forged: An ash blade-protects the bearer like a ring offire re sistance and can cause a chilling touch three times per day. A dust blade protects the bearer against earth- or stone-based attacks and also disintegrates stone or earth by touch once per day. A salt blade provides the bearer with water resistance (per the ring offire resistance, though against waterbased spells or attacks). The bearer also can lower water or destroy water (both as a cleric of 12th level) three times per day. A vacuum blade makes the bearer immune to gas attacks, such as a green dragon's breath or a stinking cloud spell. Moreover, it can enfeeble (per a ray of enfeeblement wizard spell) three times per day by touch.


+ +


+ fAC.E@L PEN.EAR+ Female human planar 20th-level ranger, Doomguard (factol) Chaotic neutral STIR 13

DEX 14 -".I


INT 18 WIS 14 CHA 18

HP 78 AC 4 THACO 1

. Bs@d Varuum; and the Outlands).




i-l ,; EM: But.. .hut how could the numbers drop so fast? Did that many people desert . . . ? 2: No. They just - they died. ..>.:::.~~ : Died? .,i.~. BG: [stands up] Pardon, miss, I’ve got other duties. I hid -yer -good day. .,~>. EM: But,. , ;i-. : : BG Please leave, miss, or the guards in the Hall will he happy to escort you elsewhese. ~

E;,, ’









;A,. ~~

Gunnarsmoon refused all further contact. Public documents from the period in question were spotty at hest, hut one tome on medicine featured a curious side note on a short-lived plague that swept Sigil some 600-odd years ago - a plague that seemed to strike at the heart of the Free League. This cryptic reference was all I could find. Could it have been another faction’s war on the Indeps - an attempt to rid the city of free-thinkers? Or perhaps something larger - maybe the wrong fiends got peeled in the Great Bazaar and decided to wipe nut every Indep they could find. ’Course, only one being truly governs Sigil the Lady of Pain. How much saner - and safer - to believe the dead were the victims of a sudden, wretched plague.


In the City of Doors, the Free League’s power is waning, mostly because its members have no voice. But although the group has no official factol, three people are emerging from the ranks as leaden: Bria Tomay, a human female, and Lethea and Lesander, twin wemics. The pair of wemics and the human make for a strange no, but they may be the only chance the faction has. The three have learned of the Harmonium’s threat to the faction and have banded together, holding secret meetings with other members of the League in the Bazaar. At lirst, many Free Leaguers objected - they don’t take direction well. But Bria, Lethea, and Lesander know how to handle their fellows. The indisputable fact that more and more Indeps are disappearing from parts of the city has driven

14th-level bard, Free League (leader) Chaotic neutral

EQUIPMENT: Padded armor, zither (family heirloom), bag oj tricks, luckstone, qwrterstaff +2, ring of protection +2. SPELLS/LEVEL: 3/3/3/3/1. SPECIAL: Bria has standard bard and faction abilities.

Bria, a hard in her mid-thirties, is from a long l i e of Sigil silversmiths, many ofwhom have dabbled in music over the years. Despite her independent nature, she’s never left the City of Doon, preferring instead to spin the exploits of others into music. A normally quiet woman, when she speaks or sings before the Indeps a spa& of brilliance shines through her ordinary demeanor. She often roams the entirety of Sigil. keeping in touch with Indeps in other wads. Much of the time, though, Bria’s found at Warbling Blades, her father’s silversmithy. at's found on Redwind Road in the Great Bazaar. - Ed.) She helps her father and much younger brother with the shop; the three are the last of the Tomays of Sigil. Bria’s resisted~leamingthe art of shaping silver, preferring instead to create and develop new instruments of wind or string.

+ T H € GREALE BAZAAR+ Female and male wemics 6th-level fighters, Free League (leaders) Lawful neutral









WIS 10 CHA 14

HP 54 AC 4 m C 0 15

EQUIPMENT: Two javelins each. As they’re quite supersti-

tious, they shy from magic; however, Bria’s given them silver “bracelets” as presents (these are really bracers of defense AC 4). SPECIAL: The wemics are rarely surprised, and they enjoy a sort of telepathy with each other. Beyond that, they have standard wemic and faction abilities. The wemics, brother and si.. ter, are immediately recognizable by their intensely russet manes of hair. They’re virtually identical in appearauce, saving only their gender: BELIEVE IN Ne-FHING. Lethea is female, A N + e N LEVELSKULL, Lesander P A C + O R ef male. Captured as +“E HARmeNIUm cubsontheirhomeworld of Rublia, they were brought to Sigil by the noted biologist Gorad Drummerhaven - and promptly escaped. The twins grew up evading capture, learning how to survive on the harsh streets of the Cage. Adversity honed their spirits into ones of fierce independence - as a pair. They’re never far apart, and they guard each other with savage devotion. So tense are they that they can only he surprised by magical means, such as by someone teleporting immediately in front of them. Their bond is unbreakable, and they operate as if they were a single, highly efficient entity, even sharing thoughts through telepathy. {A band of clever primes once managed to sepalate’ the wemics and capture Lesander. Lethea promised to give them anything they desired in ransom, hut the berks slipped up and were killed before they could collect. I’m surprised that - powers forbid - more crosstraders haven’t tried to succeed where they failed. - Ed.) Lethea and Lesander seldom leave the Bazaar, hut they roam the trading grounds every day, laying claim to the area as their temtory (an instinct they’ve been unable to curb). They know all of the Indeps who frequent the I


It’s fitting that the Free League doesn’t have an actual building for a headquarters, for that’d rather defeat the purpose of “freedom.” Throughout Sigil, a number of places offer safe haven to Indeps - usually in exchange for their hiring on as guards for some future caravan run. Primarily, though, Free Leaguers gather in the plaza holding the tents, caravans, and wagons of the Bazaar (sometimes called the Great or Grand Bazaar). Located in the Market Ward, the Bazaar covers a number of avenues and adjoining side streets, spreading out like the legs of a monstrous spider. Inside the Bazaar a berk can find literally anything he might happen to want. Or rather, he can find a merchant selling the item: whether the item’s actually present is another matter entirely. The plaza’s covered with peddlers’ stands and tents; anything that can’t be carried or hauled in is kept in bags of holding or other multidimensional devices. ’Course, anybody who buys something that’s not physically present right then and there and doesn’t confirm it actually exists is just asking to he peeled. And that‘s not to mention the pickpockets, fleecers, and other knights of the cross--de that’ll mark a soft target in an instant. A body’s got to be careful in the packed aisles of the Bazaar. It‘s not a place for the naive or sympathetic, for fast-talkers and heggars’ll get a sod every time. But the Bazaar does offer one thing of genuine value: freedom. The Indeps see to that. A merchant‘s free to ply his trade and get an honest wage for it; he doesn’t need to gild the hand of some high-up l i e be might in one of the other wards.Even the smallest peddler can B I N L Y +HE S - F R e N G take his w a e s to the B E L I E V E IN -FHEilISELVES. Bazaar, and BRlA TemAY’S the Indeps make sure he gets booth space that won’t cost him his firstborn. The Bazaar changes constantly, never the same mix of sellers from one week to the next - part of the reason it‘s taken so long for the Indeps to realiie their ranks are vanishing. But the taverns, inns, stables, cafes, and other permanent establishments that line the plaza provide a network of safe houses for the Free League. One of them’s the Red Lion Inn.



V i







THE RED L I e N I N N Bria Tomay and Lethea and Lesander frequent this inn. a While the Free League’s a loosely based faction, it is a faclarge hostelry at the edge of the Bazaar. (The Red Lion’s at tion nonetheless. Indeps who choose to wear their badge the comer of Saints Boulevard and Revel Road, o block proudly do so not to identify themselves, but to promote the ideas associated with the symbol - namely, acceptance, from Duskgate Road - the main thoroughfare through the Market Ward. - Ed.] The building’s quite a sight, more balance, and individuality. It’s also a signal to other Indeps than 450 feet long, with jagged pillars rising 200 feet into that a potential ally’s nearby; Free Leaguers aren’t a doseSigil’s sky. Its flat roof serves as a landing field for airknit group, but they do like to toss the chant around and look out for one another. The Free League’s likely to appeal borne travelers, as well as aerial quarters for hippogriffs, to player characters of independent natures and those who griffons, and other flyers. Fact is, the Lion caters mostly to hybrid beings - that are shy about espousing a particular philosophy. is, wemics, centaurs, bariaur, satyrs, and the like. The inside of the inn’s on a scale comfortable to such creatures outside the humanoid norm: no chairs, and tables that’re R e L E - P L A Y I N G * H E INDlEPS either waist-level (for those who prefer to stand on all It’s hard to be an Indep. Truly independent Free Leaguers fours) or knee-level (for those who want to lie down in the have no preconceptions, attitudes. or viewpoints that might soft rushes covering the floor). Spacious stalls provide cloud the huth of a matter. It’s not easy playing a character sleeping quarters for centaurs or bariaur, while wemin and who bas no biases, no prejudices, no leanings one way or other carnivores can rent cozy dens with exactly one small another. An Indep might be suspicious, but not judgmental. opening. Apart from Bria Tomay, humans and demihuHe doesn’t believe that any one philosophy is the be-all and mans are a rare sight at the inn. Unless accompanied by a end-all of the multiverse. To embrace one ideology denies hybrid companion, humanoid visitors are given the once independent thought, evaluation, and existence. over and then almost certainly the brush off. Most Indeps, tolerant and open-minded, know how to The inn’s pillars once supget along with other factions. They make excellent party ported a multistory structun?, but members. even thouah some other factions the current owner, Jadex +@@! usually look on them with a skeptical eye, (Pl/6 centaur/RlO/Free P E E P I N G lfBmA++, feeling that an Indep’s pure neutrality League/CN), gutted the A N I N D E P wue makes him somewhat untrustworkhy. But the building. He left the pillars Indeps’ simple attitnde and forthright outlook D fB f S N standing as guideposts to aircan often act as buffers between less neutral borne guests. Jadex also left faction members. After all, a genuinely neutral party in place the main entrance’s member shouldn’t take sides in any conflicts that wise portcullis, but added more at between comrades, leaving him free to play the unall the other entrances to the biased arbiter in disputes. Furthermore, he’s not likely to building. ostensiblv as “decor.” Howbe swayed by the pleas or machinations of fellow PCs; the ever, allthe portc&iies are fully functrue Indep makes up his own mind on any given situation. tional, and the Red Lion Inn can effectively close its gates Fact is, in parties made up of members from different and defend itself quite well in case of siege. factions, it‘s the Indep who often holds the group together. Lethea and Lesander are especially pleased with the With members of the Fated, he’s quite cordial: Takers beRed Lion as a fortress. They feel secure enough to relax; lieve in looking out for themselves first and foFemost, and here, the twins actually sleep at the same time. (They have Free Leaguers admire that independence. With all other a private den reserved solely for them, one with an addifactions save the Harmonium, an Indep’s absolutely neutional den hidden behind a secret door.) And Bria frequents tral, the one who advocates a more standoffish approach the place so often now that Jadex bought her a chair. The in party disputes. ’Course, when a group contains both an trio has begun holding weekly meetings at antipeak furhat Indep and a Hardhead, blows may result, but that makes some primes call ‘midnight’ - Ed.) closing the inn off to for exciting role-playing. all but Indeps.






! r \

ALIGNMENT. Most Indeps are neutral, though members of this faction can be of any. alignment. But what if a player opts for a Free Leaguer who isn’t neutral? Should a lawful good Indep help the world around him, while a chaotic evil Indep fosters the seeds of vile treachery everywhere? Not necessarily. Of all the factions, the Free League’s least swayed by the ideals of the multiverse - or the alignment of its members. And those with strong tendencies toward good and evil tend to shun this faction, finding its unbiased premise disconcerting. Indeed, an Indep PC of any good or evil alignment won’t be as trusted by other Free Leaguers; he won’t have access to the faction’s underground network of information (see “Indep Membership,” below).

RACE.The Free League’s open to any race, of course, but it’s worth noting that hybrid beings seem to prefer the League over other factions. Perhaps because of their dual nature, bariaur, satyrs, wemics, centaurs, and the l i e have a more neutrally balanced outlook on life, one that perfectly exemplifies the Indeps. The.“animal”in them seems more in tune with the natural rhythms of the multiverse, more aware of the hue balance of life.

bonuses to theu rolls. Against chams that don’t normally allow saving throws, they still make a thmw (though without the bonus). But an Indep’s resistance goes beyond that of direct attempts to charm. So strong is a Free Leaguer’s will that he can save with a +2 bonus against all other attempts to affect his mind, no matter what the source (again, being granted a saving throw - though widout the bonus even against attempts that normally don’t allow one). This includes psionic powers (such as domination), magical items (such as a ring of delusion), and special creature attacks (such as a beholder’s gaze). And i f a berk simply ~ e s to sweet-talk a Free Leaguer into lending him a hand or a bit of jink, well. he doesn’t stand a chance. Indeps won’t fall for an impassioned cry for help or buy a “miracle cure” from a snake-oil salesman on the basis of his hawking abilities. The Indeps aren’t a tight gmup, but they do look out for thelr own. Free Leaguers who buy wares in the Bazaar of Sigil get a 209b discount on all items purchased. What‘s more, an Indep PC of 3rd level or above has access to the faction’s underground networkof information; such contacts make him twice as liiely to pick up important bits of the chant. And in public scuffles, a Free Leaguer who makes his faction known is twice as l i e l y to get help from other Indeps passing by. In general, though, the Indeps don’t hand out special powers and equipment to every berk wearing the colors. But they know that other factions do outfit their members, and Indeps always l i e to know the dark of who they’re dealing with. One way they do that is with the following spell: KNOW FACIION(Divination) 1st-level priest or wizard spell

I N D E P IIIEIIIBERSHIP Free Leaguers accept others for what they m,imposing no resirictions on members in terms of race, sex, alignment, or class. Anyone with an independent spirit and a questioning mind can join -just ask any Indep for admittance. He’ll throw out a few questions, l i e : What do you believe in? (The answer’d better not be something concrete: if it is, the Free Leaguer steers the berk toward the appropriate faction.) What would you give up your independencefor? (The answer’d better be a resounding ’Nothing!”) Then the candidate’s warned that, with no factol, the Free League has no representation - and few rights - in Sigil. If the berk‘s still willing to sign up, all that remains is buying a round of hot drinks for his new fellow Indeps. FACTION ABILITIES. As noted in A Player’s Guide to the Planes in the PLANESCAPE Campaign Setting, Free Leaguers have a natural resistance to charms, be they from spells, creatures, or magical items. Indeps save vs. charm with +2

Range:~20yards Duration: 1 ronnd/XP level Area of Effect: Special The know faction spell enables the caster to determine a body’s faction just by looking at him. It lasts one round per level of the caster; each round, the caster can determine the faction of one creature within range. If a target is trying to conceal his faction, the DM can roll a saving throw vs. spell for the target, with success meaning that the spell fails. m e DM must make the roll secretly so the target won’t know if his true faction’s been detected or not. - Ed.J Note that an Anarchist spy automatically makes the saving tbrow, as members of the Revolutionary League can pose as members of other factions. On occasion, the know faction spell reveals a, creature’s deep-rooted philosophical beliefs instead of its faction. For example, a priest who worships a power of death may be mistaken for a Dnstman.


+THE C H A N + + Words spreading through the Great Bazaar that the Harmonium seems to be stepping up its efforts to collar Free Leaguers. A potter named Austick (PI/& gnome/O-level/ Free League/LN) even swears he overheard two Hardheads passing by his stall joke about supplying the Mercykillers with slaves and troops for wars on Acheron. Indeed, the Hardheads’re arresting quite a number of Indeps throughout Sigil, but so far the “incidents” have all taken place beyond the confines of the Bazaar. As such, Bria Tomay and Lethea and Lesander have been recommending that the Indeps retreat from the rest of the Cage to the Bazaar, there to make a stand if the Harmonium should authorize an dlout affront. All but the most stubborn Indeps have moved to the marketplace or nearby. The Bazaar is large enough to hold the influx barely. But nearly all of the sleeping establishments are full up, and quite a few merchants from out of town have been refused lodging. - _ No one’s vet come to blows over the problem, but there’s plenty of grumbling. Bria and the twins are said to be discussing various lines of defense against the Hardheads: sending spies to infdtrate the Harmonium, getting Indeps to act as bait to ambush roaming Hardheads, even making a strong counterstrike to stave off what might turn into-a full-scale war. Any Free Leaguers interested in helping the cause should inquire after Bria at the Red Lion Inn. It’s also worth noting that the chant says the Red Lion’s got secret portals to the Outlands, which are used to bring in supplies. Sister Zil (PI/2‘ tiefling/P4Free League/ NE), a minister to beggars in the Bazaar, sat in on a recent faction meeting at the inn. She says talk centered around the possibility of using the portals to bring more Indep troops into Sigil. Unfortunately, the Hardheads aren’t the only problem facing the Free League right now. A number of Indeps in the Cage’ve come down with a strange illness that makes them lapse into a sweaty, babbling fever. So far, every sod that’s contracted the disease has died (some within an hour, some lasting as long as three weeks). No known cure seems to help; no one even !mows what’s causing the sickness, though some Indeps blame the Hardheads for this, too. But a few Free League wizards in Tradegate have been working on the problem since the first victim fell ill, and word now is they just might have found something.

+THf DIII’S D A R K + Despite the numerous rumors swirling around the Hannonium’s apparent push to rid the Cage of Indeps, the matter’s simpler - but no less dangerous - than most

An undergi linter group (conthe Harmoherks) has rid of the free-thinkii g Indeps. in Indep if they think w can 5 the Dustmen’s Collci:tors . ...~ .... .__ .... -~rtuary.Otherwise, th ; t h e sod, often on a trumped-up charge, ...,. garnish or blackmail to see that h e inndr prison cell. [The harsh sentencing guidelii ,.+’+-t?d by the new facto1 of the Mercykillc Yardheads’ plan. - Ed.) No other facti’ lved in the rogue Hardheads’ assaults, *MU s aren’t being rounded up to be sold as sla ’.’ ’ st hatred and intolerance,


. . I




The Harmomum a m I IO Diam r the dram cullinc of the Free League’s ranks in fears folloi reat Upheaval, thongb - that falls I she issued her mandate on tl% how many sods would flock to ence when their own fadions died. ble to manipulate the more r lawfuls and the chaotics too e hoop after another to cause t find the right carrot a1 free-thinkers, and to a mor? So she just slashed the facti ~



.she m o dle Free League more careoes any other faction. And, amus hists to attribute rbe massive Indeo ‘deaths to ilague, she’s created gue that’s r F V ~ Ntinit striking the Let,-- inrliv ____.I. _.__, --e an Indep PC enters Sigil, the DM must secretly roll percentile dice for the character. A roll of 98 or higher indicates the PC has caught the fever and will die in either ldlO days (if the percentile roll was 98 or 99) or ld20 hours (if the percentile roll was 00).During that time, the PC remains in a feverish state, unable to fight, speak, or even think coherently. No cure or resurrection attempts will succeed outside of Tradegate; only in that Indep gate-town do they know the dark of curing the plague. m e DMsfree to invent the specifics of the cuff. - Ed.) Finally, despite Indep rumors to the contrw, the Red Lion Inn contains only a single portal. Located just off one of the rooms in Jadex’s private quarters, the archway seems to be an ordinary entry to extra storage. But any person canying through a polished shard of a babu’s tusk will be mansported to Tradegate (the DM may choose the enhy point). The gate key for the return trip is one of the thousands of gold and purple tiles that cover the sprawling plaza of Tradegate’s bazaar, though it’s hard to rip one up without being noticed. ~ O I I P

All right, you berks. listen up. You’ve just made the best choice of your lives. By joining the Harmonium, you’re on your way from berk tg blood. Universal harmony’s the goal. It may not be the goal of the multiverse - though the powers know it should be - but it is our goal, and it is the correct goal. Things get accomplished better in an atmosphere of peace and harmony. Got it? Now, some berks resist peace. But members of the Harmonium believe in peace so much, we’re willing to fight for it. Accept peace, or consider yourself at war with the Harmonium. Our might will make right. That work for all of you? If not, leave this minute. We have the right of it, see? To make sure you’ll have the right of it too, you’ll begin an eightweek program - what? No talking in the ranks! Never interrupt me. Get out, you three - the Harmonium gives no second chances. As I was saying, we start you off with our eight-week training program. The physical training portion of this program begins immediately after this indoctrination session. This week of training will send you, at planned times, to some uncomfortable places. It may seem meaningless to you, but it’s not. Physical exertion to the point of exhaustion numbs your minds. That’s what we want. During this first week, you will forget all you think yon know. Your instructors will break down all the wrong-headed beliefs you have in your pitiful brain-boxes. In the second week, we’ll issue you a copy of this book I’m holding right now. It‘s the Book of the Harmonium, which describes our rules and regulations. You will learn evely word. At the start of the third week you’ll receive a second book, The Sigil Municipal Code. Since the Harmonium makes up the City Watch, you must know the city’s laws. For the most part, just support universal harmony and make sure people behave themselves. Don’t worry too much about the details of the city code - that‘s for the Fraternity of Order to sort out During the program’s third week, you also will begin training in law enforcement, including methods of capturing and restraining criminals using standard equipment, l i e the planar moncatchers.‘ By the fourth week, you might begin to feel like you know something. Don’t let it go to your beads - you haven’t even started. During week four, we test your knowledge of Sigil and teach you landmarks important for finding y a w way around the city. At the end of the week, your instructor11blindfold you (and plug your ears and whatever else it takes) and dump you alone somewhere in the Cage. You’ll have a set time to find your way back to the banacks. In the fifth week, you’ll study the other factions, so you can learn to recognize the troublemakers. In the sixth week, we inimduce you to members of the Mercykillers and the Fraternity of Order. You’ll be working with them to administer justice. The seventh week of training is always interesting: We test you on all the knowledge you’ve acquired, but under adverse conditions. Finally, your eighth week you spend patrolling with Harmonium members. Those bloods will evaluate you at the end of the week. Once in, you earn regular promotions through the ranks. You have made the right choice, and others will follow in your footsteps. Now, get to your instructors.


- Facto1 Sarin of the Harmonium (from an indoctrination session for new recruits) 4884

*Editor's Note: Every Harmonium patrol carries at least one planar mancatcher, a long pole with a set of sharp jaws at 0 end. The runes engraved into the ste& this +2 weapon prevent plane-sh ' githyankifiom escaping.





members as playground bullies, a bunch of berks who want to spoil the fun for everyone. But ask a Hardhead, A~BI+I@N and he’ll tell you he’s absolutely right about the Way it The Harmonium’s been around a couple of centuries, Should Be. maybe more. It depends on who a basber listens to. AcOh, the Harmonium’s made some mistakes in its time, cording to the faction itself - and any member’ll tell a though the members’d never admit to it. Just ask a high-up body the same tbmg, ’cause it’s drummed into them at inabout the recent Arcadia “incident” and watch him twitch doctrination - the group was founded about 500 years ago while be hies to come up with some kind of answer. (The on a prime world called Ortho. There, a group of adventurHarmonium accidentally allowed the third layer of the ers went off to “rid the country of chaos and bring peace to plnne to slip into Mechanus, as recounted in the Planes of the land.” Simple enough goal, right? Many aspire to the Law boxed set. - Ed.) Or mention the town of Fortitude on same thing. the Outlands; that’s also a sore spot with the Hardheads Thing is, this group actnally went and did it. that know ahout it. @n response to the loss of the Arcadian They brought peace and harmony to their land, so layff, the faction fried to shift this town to Arcadia in the they started calling themselves the Harmonium. And then adventure F m of Dis. - Ed.) they moved on to other lands, and spread some peace and There’s also the matter of the world of Athas, the harmony there too. It was tough work, sometimes, because prime planet that’s home to lots of giant, psionic bugs, they had to force the peace on some poor berks who didn‘t among other things. It seems that a few thousand years know what was best for ’em. But the Harmonium willingly ago, a hunch of bashers called the “Champions of Rajaat” took on these difficultjobs. Eventually, they delivered their went about waning on others to eliminate chaos and bring whole world into peace and harmony. Naturally, spreading peace. Sounds familiar, right? Well, the Harmonium wasn’t peace throughout the world required the Harmonium to around back then, so the faction couldn’t have been ineliminate a lot of nasty types - all those wrong-headed, volved - although time does some funny things between free-thinking folks who love to cause trouble. Those who planes, once in a while. Or maybe the Harmonium took journey to Ortho today say it’s a very rigid place, where some inspiration from the Champions. Thing is, bashers dwarves, orcs, beholders and humans all work together who’ve been to Athas call it an awful, dry world wrecked under the Harmonium’s law. There’s not an elf or a pixie to by magic. Almost anything would eat a be seen anywhere, though. body just for walking by, they say. Is The Harmonium d e d their world, and that what the Harmonium wants? their world knew peace and har’Course, the Hardheads mony. (Ifnot exactly happiness. deny it. Present-day - Ed.) Then the problems started. Athas resulted from Seems that every once in a the actions of rightwhile, chaos and discord managed minded barmies,who didn’t know THE m U L + I V E R S E to rear their ugly heads. The Harwhen to quit, they claim. The Harmomonium leaders got tired of thii ocnium knows$o back off before S @ m E @ N E L I K E US. casional disorder and got together at point. So they say. to discuss the matter. The Harmonium memFIRS+ L I N E IN +BE high-ups decided that the bers do have their bee^ eF T U € H A R m e N I U m chaos must originate someout for them where else - it couldn’t come - after all, the Cage from within their own perfect “1 doesn’t exactly embrace world, after all. Suspecting the culpeace and law. The prits came from the Outer Planes, the Hardheads get some Harmonium mounted an exuedition and ionrhelu alone the wav. neyed to the Abyss. After pitting their i m p s kicked though frsm the Guvnek and &e from the Plain of Infinite Portals to the Caverns of the Mercykillers, their partners in crime. F a t is, in stopping Skull Goddess and back again, they decided they needed crime. - Ed.] The Harmonium makes the arrests, the Guvanother plan. So, the Harmonium expedition relocated to ners conduct the trials, and the Mercykillers enforce the punishment All three fadions believe in law and order, so Sigil, to establish a beachhead of sorts. And here they have remained. they work pretty well together, though the Hardbeads seem happy that the painfully meticulous, fill-this-out-in-tripliThe faction found some like-minded folks in Sigil cate Guvners don’t actnaUy create the laws. folks l i e the Guvners - and the Lady of Pain seems to approve of the order they bring to the Cage. They also found On the other hand, the “wheel of justice” finds oppotargets for their war for peace in the nnmerous folks of sition in the friends of chaos, like the Indeps, the Revoluother factions. A lot of those groups regard Harmonium tionary League, and the Xaositects. ’Course, the Free Y



League seems too independent to constitute much of a fACLEeL SARIN threat, but the Anarchists and the Chaosmen can prove dangerous. The Harmonium also considers dangerous the Male human prime 16th-level paladin, Harmonium (facto11 selfish or destructive attitudes of the Fated, the Bleakers, Lawful good and the Doomguard, as well. The Doomguard has become a special thorn in the Harmonium’s side, because this faction Sm 17 T 13 97 controls the Armory and keeps weapons out of HarmoDEX 15 Is 13 0 nium hands, preventing the Hardheads from launching a CON 17 17 THACO 5 full-scale war for peace. Then again, this arrangement suits everyone else h e , from the Lady down to the ClueEQUIPMENT: Red steel plate a m o r of command, two scirniless. The Harmonium considers the Athar and the Godst a n +Z, gauntlets of ogre power, ring offire resistance, cloak. men a bit barmy, in light of their weird beliefs, but 3/3/2/1. less in the end. Hardheads tend to ignore the relatively inSPECIAL: Sann casts spells as an 8th-level priest from the offensive - if spooky - Dustmen. The Signers can become spheres of combat, divination, healing, and protecannoying, with their gRat egos, but like the rest, they seem tion. In addition to his other standard paladin and largely ineffectual; in fact, the Signers faction abilities, he specializes in the use of the scimhelp preserve the peace by running itar and in the two-weapon style. (See The Complete the Hall of Speakers and getting Fighter’s Handbook. Ed.] the factions to meet. The Sensates also prove little The chant saw Facto1 Sarin comes from the threat, but most HarmoHarmokum world of Ortho, where he nium feel leery of them moved through the ranks to become a anyway; by wanting to experience everything, the IS + H E HARITIeNIUm high-up. Deserving of promotion, Sarin chose Sensates go around looking PAC + e L SARI N to go to Sigil, rather for disorder. The Clueless, than take the easier though they can become route through the ranks of the magnets for trouble, remain acceptable to the Harmonium. prime Harmonium worlds. He knew Sigil would be a rough posting compared The Ciphers seem an interesting to one on Ortho and that he’d amve a near Cluebunch. They seek harmony of mind less. And he still wanted the Cage. and body - so fa& so good, acThis fact ought to tell even a leatherhead one thing: cording to Harmonium beliefs. Sarin feels dedicated to the Harmonium cause. This comBy uniting thought and deed mitment shows in his every word, his every action. Since in harmony, a cutter’s spirit arriving in Sigil some two decades ago, he has become the can align with the multiverse. Thing is, Ciphers seek indiultimate Hardhead, embodying all the reasons his faction vidual harmony - not too consistent with the universal got pinned with the nickname. harmony the Hardheads want. Also, Ciphers act without Sarin’s tough - not w e n a barmy or a Clueless ever thinking, which counters the Harmonium desire to think would suggest otherwise. He believes unshakably in the everything through - or at least appear to. Here’s the dark Harmonium’s cause and will do anything honorable, lawof it, though The Ciphers resemble the Harmonium a bit ful, and good to promote peace and harmony. Not surpristoo much for comfort. Besides their search for harmony, ingly, this attitude makes it very difficult for a lot of folks both groups l i e members to feel so sure of themselves that to deal with Sarin. they act with no prior reflection. The Hardheads see a halfAnd the factol deals with a lot of people. Because he twisted reflection of themselves in the Ciphers, and it bothremains active in Sigil, locals see his imposing figure on ers them enough to remain peery of ‘em. the streets with some regularity. The tall, broad-shouldered The Harmonium’s outlook on the various other facfactol wears a perpetually severe look and his unmistaktions dictates how the Hardheads will go about accomable armor, made of a prime-world metal some call red plishing their long-range goal of peace. Don’t forget, the steel. The front of the armor is decorated with the HarmoHardheads’re willing to fight for it. Encouraged by their nium’s faction symbol, and the spikes sprouting from the success long ago on their prime world, Harmonium memshoulders and helmet resemble the Lady of Pain’s own bers truly believe everyone one day will come around and shining blades. The likeness is no coincidence: Sarin likes join them, In the meantime, members can eliminate to remind bashers that he supports the order of the Cage, troublemakers: starting with the Anarchists, Xaositects, and that he supports the Lady by doing SO. . Iagd Indeps.



t .% : .. .,:. . . 5;.: . . I* . . "world" is a rouih one. and it rrwires toukhhi people who'll fight for whacs right. Thus, theHarmoni& in the Harmonium - it's one of the few factions that acappeals very much to wamors of all sorts, especially palely recruits. Bloods will talk lots of the Clueless into adins. Rangers don't make good Hardheads, as so often ining, knowing that their faction's stabiliq and strength they enjoy being on their own. Priests prove much more rs the Outsiders a pleasant view of the future. It apcommon - a t least, those who appreciate the tenets o to provide a home and the comfort of what amounts peace and stability. Priests of war gods are harder to find to one huge family. (Reports that the Harmonium strongwithin Harmonium ranks, not because they disagree with arms berks into the faction from off the streets using the faction so much as having too many of them in the "Hardhead reform taciics" are greatly exaggerated. But membership would be bad for the Harmonium's image. A when numbers drop too low to handle increased rioting in lot of the faction's priests revere a power called 'St. Cuththe Cage. . well, sometimes things happen that shouldn 't. be&" from a prime world called Oerth. Seems the followers Apparently Sarin knows nothing of these unorthodox recruiting methods. - Ed.) of Cuthbert have a lot of the same ideas as the Harmonium; any of 'em that visit Sigil find themselves quickly Every four weeks, all recent recruits gather for Sarin's attracted to the faction. indoctrination speech. The factol's talk shows the type of Wizards appear infrequently among the ranks of the man he is - tough, forthright, charismatic, and unforgivHardheads, though some of the more militant and lawful ing - and tells the recruits what to expect. ones join. Rogues become faction members only They then get shipped off to training camps on Buxenus, the second layer rarely, partly because of their very nature - "rogues" don't of Arcadia. At the end of the work well with others, after all eight weeks of grueling training, recruits either have - and partly because they are dropped out to become known lawbreakers. It surprises common berks again or many cutters to see that the Y@U m1GH.f- N@+ BELfBNG have turned into Harmonium allows rogues +tB + H E HARm@NIUm YE+. BERK. official Hardheads. into the ranks, but some nu+ $ N E DAY Y@U'L'L UNDfRS+AND. Those that fail, thieves actually work to though regarded prevent others of their FAC+(BL S A R I N , with some caution, can freely class from committing (BN e N E Of H I S attempt the lmining again criminal acts. Even the "ARRE S . I0 U. I1N 0 S" later. See,the faction fully lawful Harmonium expects everyone to join sometimes has a need eventually. (Despite Facto1 for good spies - as long Sarin's words to recruits, the as they don't break the faction does give some seclaw, of course. and chances. The only ones the Hardheads don't invite Once a cutter has ioined the Harmoback are those who turn stag on the group. Those, nium, though, things like race and profession the facto1 has arrested and tried. Guilty sods usually get don't matter much. A Hardhead is a Hardhead, and they all sentenced to the leafless tree. - Ed.) stick together, cooperating like one big family. Oh, they The Harmonium has a paramilitary organization. have their share of squabbles, to be sure, but all HarmoNames who've completed their training become Notaries, nium members know that turning stag means they lose all common soldiers. Notaries fall into five ranks, depending the benefits of the group. Not only that, they find their foron their length of service, from the lowest Notary Ones to merly beloved faction hunting them; anyone who's hethe highat-ranking Notary Fives. longed to the Harmonium knows he doesn't want to beSome Notaries later decide to pursue officer training. come their prey. Not many Hardheads turn stag. Every six months, Harmonium high-ups select a few Notaries who have proved tough, smart, and dedicated (and have reached at least 3rd level). These cutters receive advanced training and, on graduation, become Measures, the Harmonium name for factotums. Like Notaries, MeaA basher can join the Harmonium in one of two ways. sures are divided into five sub-ranks, depending on the First, a body can go to the City Barracks and ask for some length of time served; the lowest-ranking Measure One recruitment pamphlets. The interested party then receives eventually can he a Measure Five. an invitation to a few minor meetings and social activities, Above the rank of Measure, the Movers are the Harwhere recruitment officers observe him. If they agree he monium's factors. These high-ups select new additions to shows merit, they'll ask him to ioin. "




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gardless ofclass. (AZZ Harmonium priests can access dictate as a 2nd-level spell. -Ed.)

DICTATE[Enchantment/Charm) 2nd-level priest spell Sphere: Law Range: 30 yards Components: V Duration: 1 round/lwel Casting Time: 5 Area of Effect: Up to Saving Throw: Neg. six creatures in a 20-foot cube The dictate spell improves on the 1st-level priest spell command. It can affect up to six creatures at once with effects lasting more than one round. As a spell or spell-like ability, dictate allows the caster to speak a short, precise phrase or order of no more than a dozen words that all targets must obey if they fail their saving throws. Examples include "Throw down your weapons!" or "Stay bere until I return!" and even "Seize that elf!" The faction member must state the command in a language the targets know, or the spell fails. Subjects continue to obey long-term orders [such as "Wait here.") for up to one round per experience level of the caster. To dictate an order, a Hardhead must phrase it to create an immediate course of physical action for the target.

from some in the Harmonium. By refusing to join "real" factions - even those the Hardheads don't like - they flaunt their refusal to accept the Harmonium's order of things. As the Indeps get more organized, they gain Harmonium notice - a source of more than a little wony to the Free League. To some (and not just Indeps), it looks like the Hardheads want to exterminate them. With growing frequency, they arrest folks just for being Indeps, then prepare them for the Dustmen. The Free League doesn't know it, but this effort ain't officially sanctioned. See, a small gmup of Notaries and Measures has set itself the task of getting rid of the Indeps - and they use whatever means seem necessary. rcourse, it should go without saying that these Harmonium members fall more on the, well, "lower planar" end of the alignment scale. - Ed.) Facto1 Sarin remains unaware of this minority agenda. As long as the Indep-haters' "extracurricular" activities don't interfere with their normal assignments, he's unlikely to notice them - unless another faction brings 'em to his attention. The Indeps assume he's hehind the extermination movement, so they won't bring up the matter with him. If Sarin does learn of the covert campaign, he'll most liiely order its organizers to follow their normal orders and quit inventing new duties for

themselves. After all, deciding the faction’s course of action is his duty, not that of lower-ranked members. Wiping out the Indeps, while not against Harmonium policy, mustn’t be attempted without specific orders. That’s breaking the rules. For quite a while, the Doomguard and the Bleakers have shown up high on the factol’s troublemaker list. Sure, a lot of ’em appear patient, either because they figure nothing matters (the Bleakers) or because they think everything’ll eventually go their way (the Doomguard). However, some of these folks have developed a yen for active destruction. Besides, their philosophies really bother the Hardheads: they don’t want either group infecting others with barmy ideas. The Bleakers might prove easy enough to deal with; as with the Xaositects, wait a while. They’re bound to make a mistake: then the Hardheads can arrest ’em. The Doomguards another matter. The faction has an important function in Sigil: It controls the Armo~y- a big problem, as far as the Harmonium’s concerned. The Hardheads work to undermine the Doomguard in every way possible without confronting the Sinkers directly. See, if they fight them directly, they fall right into the other group’s bauds, promoting entropy. Facto1 Sarin is too smart for that. Instead, he tries to move around their authority, to build good works and to step up the generation of harmony and peace. Only by supporting its own goals can the Harmonium hope to defeat the Doomguard; the moment the Hardheads counter this foe directly, they’ve done things the Doomguard way.

)THE D m ’ S D A R K + Moving plane layers and towns bas become top priority on the dark side of the Harmonium’s agenda. The next step toward its ultimate goal involves handling a situation newly developed on Arcadia. See,recently, the Harmonium enacted a plan to convert a bunch of chaotic hashers to their cause. Well, the plan worked to a degree, but it bad a side effect: It caused the entire third layer of Arcadia to slip into Mecbanus. Seems that the bit of evil generated during the Arcadia operation balanced the good of the layer. When the layer became more neutral, off it went to Mechanus! ’Course, the Hardheads feel pretty red-faced about this oversight, which only proved that head-bashing worked better as a general rule than any subtle plan they might concoct. They want to get the layer back into Arcadia. While they fignre out bow, they continually work to keep the rnodrons from moving in to cement the layer to Mechanus. Meanwhile, the Harmonium tries to protect this dark, even from most of its Notaries. There’s also the matter of Fortitude, a city on the Outlands. It seems the Harmonium wants to help make up for losing part of Arcadia by causing this town to slip into Arcadia at a gathering called the Harmonious Ascension. (See the adventure Fires of Dis. - Ed.) Faction bloods’ve been keeping things pretty quiet, while sending officers on missions to spread goodwill and harmony among the people of Fo to their plan

tires and make good




I am young, but so pure is my faith, so absolute is my conviction, that I have recently been made factol of the Mercykillers. It was not a hard decision for mv brethren: Factol Mallin had mown old and careless. His heart no longer burned with the bright righteous flame, but instead -rlonged for quiet peace and pastoral beauty. How 1 fitting it is i that, atthe Mortuary, I asked the Dustmeu to dispose of his body on Athas. Surely that blighted world will give him the serenity he so richly deserves. But I have been made factol not merely because of Mallin’s untimely death, but because my convictions are so strong, so right. I know the path the Mercykillen must now take. I know the road we must follow. I alone know OUT best and buest destiny - for it was revealed to me in a dream. Every crime must be punished according to the law. There is no such thing as “extenuating circumstance” to negate or soften that punishment. But a haunting dream has driven me to expose Mallin’s deficiencies and take his place. I live this dream each night, and I know now it is directing me, urging me to lead my Mercykillers on to a new and greater level of justice. The dream is of justice, as always. I quiver with the joy of dispensing punishment to those who are guilty, so guilty! At first my dream is a delight to gladden a righteous soul, but then. . . she enters the dream. The Lady berself enters my sleep, night after night. I stand before a fallen prisoner, his body still twitching as the life drains from him. My joy is short-lived, however, for the Lady floats toward me. We are alone, for I have sent my men on ahead, and she is without her usual dabus. I wonder what she will do, but always the thought flits away to be replaced by words, real words, inside my bead. The Lady is speaking to me! To me! Never in the recorded history of Sigil has the Lady ever spoken to anyone - but she speaks to me. I tell no one, of come. I cannot reveal the dilemma the Lady has placed before me. Always, in my dream, she floats before me and says the words: “What would thou do, Factol Aliisohn Nilesia, if I committed a crime? What would thou do?” I stare at her. How can the being I most revere be guiIty of crime? How can she test my devotion so? Surely she must know how I admire her absolute willingness to dispense justice. to punish the wicked, to flay the skin of the heinous and send them screaming into the Mazes. I stare, and suddenly I start to feel something crumble inside of me. The answer becomes plain: This is an admission of her guilt. With that enormous






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realization comes a chilling new awareness, for I know, of course - of course! - she must he guilty. Who could command the Cage for so m centuries without committing some crim Then in my dream it comes, the con of my musings: The Lady's body fades all that remains is her hife-rimmed face. It grows slowly smaller, and I see a brilliant red sun expanding behind her. The glowing disk grows brighter and larger, blinding me, hut still I look on. Then I see the winged snake, its fanged maw opened wide, slowly engulf the Lady of Pain. And I know, without a doubt, that the Lady's time has come. Her crimes against the multiverse have weighed too heavily upon her head. She has come to me for help in bringing her to justice. She has come to me to die. And I cannot he more pleased than to bring one so deserving as the Lady to' justice.

- Facto1 Alisohn Nilesi:

T H E LADY + @ L D




Ask a iviercykiller why he's joined a faction that's also called the Red Death and a berk'll get one answer: Justice is everything. It's absolute and perfect, but it's got to be correctly applied if it's to mean anything. The Mercykillers set out to do just that, reasoning that if someone (meaning them) does it right,-then the multiverse will be cleansed of evil and thus be made perfect - the true cnlmination of this faction's work. The Mercykillers are a bit on the newer side, as far as factions go. During the Great Upheaval, when the Lady of PaTn passed down her mandate cullmg the number of factions, a lot of groups faced disbanding. Two groups, the Sons of Mercy and the Sodkillers,joined forces. The Sons of Mercy were a band of lawful good bloods who kneaded the laws of Sigil like dough, finding loopholes for criminals who were wrongfully accused or faced outlandish punishments. The Sodkillers, on the other hand, were strictly lawful evil. Little more than hired muscle, they offered to avenge perceived "wrongs" for the right amount of jink. Neither faction was very large, and it was unlikely that either would survive the Lady's edict. So the two factols met secretly and hashed out a charter that merged their factions, combining elements of their respective beliefs. The charter as written up some 600 years ago known as the Eight Tenets of Justice - is still in effect today for the Mercykillers. THEEIGHTTENETSOF JUSTICE I. 1 will uphold Justice before all else, purging the mnltiverse of those who break the law. 11. In all situations I shall weigh the rights and wrongs with a clear and impartial mind. 111. I shall decide where Justice must fall under the law, and I will mete out that Justice with a firm and unyielding hand. V. 1believe in the righteousness of my faction: we alone answer to the higher law of Justice. V. I will not pass judgment on good or evil, only on law-abiding and law-breaking, for therein lies wrongdoing. n. I will punish the guilty as the crime demands. 11. I will be diligent in my pursuit of the guilty, and while so engaged I will remain innocent of any wrongdoing in the eyes of others. 111. I will never release a lawbreaker until his sentence has been carried out. The faction embraces these tenets wholeheartedly some would say too much so. But the Red Death is committed to punishing any and all lawbreakers. As such, they form a perfect triumvirate with the Harmonium and the Guvners. The Hardheads make the arrests, the Guvners convict the criminals, and the Red Death metes out the punishment. Likewise, the Doomguard is sympathetic toward the

Mercykillers, finding in the process of punishment - especially long periods of wasting incarceration - ultimate entropy. The Indeps, of course, think otherwise, but they generally just avoid the Red Death whenever possible. The faction has regular run-ins with members of the Signers, the Sensate, and the An-, though rarely with the Fated. Alisohn Nilesia bas not hidden her growing involvement with Duke Darkwood from her people, and her faction is inclmed to look favorably on the Takers as a result.




Female tiefling planar 8th-level wizard, Mercykillers (factol) Lawful evil 10


DEX 16





19 12 17

HP 28 AC 5(10] m C 0 18

EQUIPMENT:Pearl of power, ring of sustenance, black robe of the arckmagi (which provides AC 5). SPELLS/LEVEL: 4/3/3/2. SPECIAL: Nilesia has standard wizard, tiefling, and faction abilities. Aliiobn Nilesia, the new factol of the Mercykillers, is quite mad and more than a little dangerous. Only 19 years old, the girl - part human and part something-more-fiendish was born in the Prison she now commands, the daughter of a thief who died during childbirth. She grew up in the Prison under the care of a ward matron, leatnimg the chapter and verse of every law in Sigil - as well as the Red Death's punisbment for each infraction. After the mysterious death of her surrogate mother, Nilesia tried to join the faction as a full-fledged member, but Facto1 Mallin stubbornly refused to allow an eight-year-old child to become a Mercykiller. years later, though, her persistence paid off - she was allowed to join the faction at the age of 11. The child's convictions were preternaturally strong; nothing shook her beliefs. Detractors tried to have her expelled fmm the faction, but Nilesia merely smiled and bided her time. Before long, her excellent organizational skills acquired her the post of Justice Dispenser, where she wrote up the duties and orders for all the Mercykillers in the faction. Interestingly, most of Ndesia's detractors were given assignments that cost them their lives. Those few left who'd bad-mouthed the child quickly leamed to keep their concerns to themselves: a number of them accepted posts on Acheron for fear of her reprisals. Tbese Mercykillers have watched fmm afar the girl's r i s e ' 9 g h the f a d o n hierarchy. (Since Nilesia became factol, a mysterious illness has struck many of the exiles on Acheran, and the ranks of her original detractors are dwindling. - Ed.)

Fortunately for the young factol, all the remaining members of the faction are staunchly devoted to her. In the eight years that she’s served in the Mercykillers, Alisohn Nilesia’s risen quickly to the rank of factol, watching the faction expand until its ranks in Sigil numbered approximately 25,000. And while a few members of the Red Death view her rapid climb with envy, most feel a sense of pride, believing they’ve helped mold this very accomplished woman. Fact is, many Merrykillers have developed a fanatical devotion to their new factol. Anywhere from 20 to 30 faction members accompany her at all times; all would gladly give their lives if Nilesia so requested i t The intensely driven young woman is so obsessed with justice that she makes many other Mercykillers’devotion seem like a passing interest. Restless and high-strung, she sleeps perhaps 15 minutes out of every four hours. Her body’s used to this relentless pace, and 10 of her closest Mercykillers have also adapted to this routine [the best known among them is a gloomy basber named Shander Mountpool [PI/ 6 tiefling/F8/Merrykillers/LE]]. When asked once why she slept so little, Nilesia replied coldly: “Justice doesn’t sleep. Why should I? Why should you?“ The questioner disappeared shortly after that. Nilesia’s talents lie in organization and coordination. She devotes nearly 24 hours of every day to planning and implementing her schemes. In the two months since she became factol, she’s approved the punishment of thousands of inmates at the Prison, the faction’s headquarters. A body can’t accuse her of too-hastily performing her duties, however. Nilesia reviews the He on each case, catching and clarifying any and all discrepancies. (A number of Guvners at the City Court and some record-keepers a t the Hall of Records have begun to grumble a t all the &a work Nilesia‘s causing, correcting their mistakes. - Ed.) Only when she’s properly satisfied that the prisoner before her is guilty and has been properly tried will Nilesia approve a punishment.

The Prison’s located in The Lady’s Ward, the richest and most powerful in all of Sigil. It’s a forbidding (and foreboding) structure fully seven stories high. Unlike a lot of Sigil’s architecture, there’s nothing very graceful or soaring about its roofline. Systematically placed gnard towers are the only enlivening feature of the roof. The effect’s somewhat dampened by searchlights that sweep the area constantly, day and night. (The searchlights consist of translucent gems on which continual light spells have been cast, with the resultant glow magnified through treated glass. - Ed.) Armed Mercykillen patrol the roofs walkways at all hours; they lead packs of Aoskian hounds that bay the moment they scent a prisoner outside his cell. The walls are state-gray stones, completely regnlar and symmetrically pl&d. The structure’s built on a ten-block

solid building. However, the Prison’s actually built around an open square, where some of the prisoners are allowed to take exercise and others are forced to perform drills or work details. It’s a bleak courtyard - treeless, sbrubless, grassless, and generally devoid of any possible aesthetic relief. All that’s in the square is a single wide pathway cutting across the center; only Mercykillers are allowed to walk on the path. AU inmates must walk on the dirt, which can be a lot trickier than it sounds when Sigil’s brown, oily rains turn the yard into a greasy pit. As grim and miserable as the square is, the interior of the Prison’s worse. Save for a portion of the first floor that’s devoted to business offices, the factal’s quarters, and the like, the remainder of the prison ahovegronnd is entjrely given over to cells. AU seven floors surrounding the squaw m f B w +HA+’$ ‘”’“ A ’ contain crlls that housr anywhere HAVIN’ Yflb H A N from one to AS. DAWN four urisoners A N D YER VfSff

Guvnerj can try the sod! Each cell is tiny area, no more than 5 feet wide by 10 feet long, and perhaps only half have windows. (‘Course, no one but a pirie could escape through these windows - and the pixies are held in a special cell just for them. - Ed.) All told, the Prison can hold up to 24,000inmates at a time. Though the cells are bitter and terrible, there’s still a place that’s even worse: the underground portion of the Prison known as the Cellars. Down there are mess balls, bathmg rooms, and work rooms - all grim places the inmates must visit daily. And down there are also the Sentencing Rooms, where death or torture is meted out. It’s even said that the Cellars are filled with “forgotten” cells that house an additional 8,000 prisoners. Inmates live in terror of being called to the Cellars, because they never know if it’s to mend some overalls or to have their fmgers lopped off for shoplifting. Facto1 Nilesia has instituted some new procedures garding sentencing, hut the MercyHler guards keep p oners in the dark as much as possible. Nevertheless, word can’t be entirely concealed in a place the size of the Prison. It’s plain that a few lucky sods - a very few - have actually been set free. Others’ve been sent off to powers only know where. Few sods hope for the rumored pardons the factors passing out - hope only makes their suffering that






e pursuit of justice ain’t easy. First and foremosti a ayer must realize that Mercykillers don’t amest or try a berk, no matter what be’s accused of. It falls to the HarmoSTR 18 INT 16 HF’ 97 nium to arrest lawbreakers, and to the Fraternity of Order DEX 18 WIS 13 AC 4 to conduct trials for the accused. Only when a sod’s been CON 13 CHA 17 m C 0 4 found guilty of a crime under the law may a Mercykiller cany out punishment. EQUIPMENT: Long sword +2, ring of protection +2, dagger. In an adventuring party, that means a Mercykiller PC SPELLS/LEVEL: 3/3/3/1. can’t automatically punish a fighter for slaying an innoSPECIAL: Arwyl Swan’s Son has standard paladin and faccent peasant, or kill a thief for picking a noble’s pocket. The Mercykiller’s got to stay his hand until the “criminal” tion abilities. I has been duly arrested, tried, and found guilty. ’Course, if Arwyl Swan’s Son hails originally from Cormyr in the the party has both a Hardhead and a Guvner, the Mercykiller might he able to convince them to hold a quic world of Toril. As a young (and zealous) paladin, he court. Failing that, the PC can only keep track L. chased a succubus all the way to the Outlands, crimes that go unpunished, hoping to see justice done where he caught the fiend before she could at the earliest possible opporhmiQ. return to the Abyss. It was a desperate hatThe most profound conflict for a tle, hut Swan’s Son persevered. He was Mercykiller usually arises over tkbadly injured, however, and unable to return home. THE E V I L specific interpretation i I N eUR f A C + l @ N justice. After all, what miglu A nameless Justiciar (see “Mercykiller Memhershiu” on Daze rhus+ mAKE WAY F ~ R seemwrongtoonememher . - 1091 haDof the Red Death may not pened upon the injured young man and +HE G@@D. seem so to another, especially when tended his wounds, regaling the paladin A R W Y L SWAN ’S the two have different alignments. with tale after tale of justice brought to S8N Lawful good Mercykillers - l i e wrongdoers. When the Justiciar left, Amyl Swan’s Son - often are less troubled Swan’s Son was hale and imbued with by an escaped criminal than they are by a a strong desire to embrace justice in the poor sod who’s been wrongfully imprisoned or extreme; he promptly became a devout faces a staggeringly inappropriate punishment. member of the Mercykillers in Sigil. But he’s had Many Mercykillers. inspired by the high-up paladin’s some trouble adjusting his desire for justice with his commitment, have liiewise chosen to seek out and correct belief in the lawful good. Often it seems to him that the examples of gross injustice. Red Death stretches the bounds of goodness in the name of But infighting only hinders the cause of justice, and justice - and even commits acts of out and out evil. So he the faction strives for internal harmony. They seek to rely tries to ensure that not a single sod goes to the gallows for on the letter of the law, not its spirit, as their mediator. a crime he didn’t commit. Recently, Swan’s Son has begun Any sod who doesn’t follow the law is a climinal and must hying to increase the number of lawful good Mercykillers, he punished - that’s the official faction line. But when two putting them in positions of greater responsibility and imMercykillers butt beads - well, something’s got to give. If portance in the Prison. they can’t come to a mutual compromise quickly, one that satisfies both sides’ sense of justice, the DM is free to impose the following faction penalties: +WI.EHIN +HE RANKS+ 17th-level paladin, Mercykillers (factor)

As is the case with Arwyl Swan’s Son, the Mercykiller faction allows player characters to interpret the abstract concept ofjustice according to their personal ideals. Of course, this can lead to arguments between two Mercykillers, not to mention between a Mercykiller and another character say, a thief who steals to feed the poor. But, as a lawful faction, the Red Death also offers strict regimentation to those who seek it. After all, sometimes the easiest way to live is just to do as you’re told and follow the rules - wen blindly.




Wizards and priests cast spells at half their actual level; they can’t cast spells that aren’t available above their penalized level. Fighters receive only one attack per round and lose any specialization bonuses. Rogues perform all thief functions at half their usual percentages.

These penalties represent the internal conflict of the character, distracting him from the task at hand. The DM

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shouldn’t impose these restrictions for more than a day unless a Mercykiller ardently ‘refusesto put justice before all, including his alignment. Some Mercykillers choose to live with these restrictions, hying to maintain a precarious balance between their own viewpoint and the ideals of the faction. Of course, being a MercykiUer requires more than a simple love of justice - no matter what his class, a Mercykiller must undertake a lengthy period of training and study if be wants to progress beyond the rank of namer. Those who do learn the law to an exacting degree - the factotums of the faction - are called Justices by the Red Death. They cany out the day-to-day functions of running the Prison and maintaining the faction’s outposts on Acheron. The most devoted Mercykillers go on to become factors. And an elite few may even become Justiciars (a 1 special kind of factor) and he assigned to track escaped criminals. w i l e the that its members be 1 who’re lawful neutral may truly understand the final goal of justice above all else. Lawful evil and lawful good characters, if they properly play their alignments, allow the distracting factors of good and evil to cloud their judgment and search for justice. Of course, some playe may feel that their faction override their alignment i But truly exciting role-playing can take place when a character hies to meld these two potentially conflicting attributes. A Mercykiller’s got to find a compromise that satisfies his inner turmoil. Otherwise, he might face the faction penalties described above - or end up in the Gatehouse with the other barmies who couldn’t handle the strain of the multiverse.


CLASS.Though the book A Player’s Guide to the Planes in the PLANESCAPE Campaign Sem‘ng restricts rogues from the ranks of the Red Death, a generous DM might allow a thief to join the faction after all - provided the

berk’s willing to take an oath foreswearing all thieving tivities that break the law. Thus, a Mercykiller rogue ca hide in shadows, but not pick pockets. [A thief who c stantly tries to suppress his cross-trading tendenc should make for good role-playing. - Ed.) Other classes might also pose conflict for a Mer killer. Priests, for instance, might try to punish the gu in the name of their power, rather than in the name of j tice. But they’d be missing the point; justice ain’t heholl to any power. Most Mercykiller priests learn quicklj place justice above all else. Any cleric who wants to pi ish lawbreakers in his power’s name had better keep his tions dark from the faction high-ups - unless, of cou his gods a power of justice.


. ..



Ill B RCY KI LLE R IllE Ill BE RS H I I Cutters looking to join the Mercykillers face some pretty stiff restrictions. All members must he lawfully aligned, whether good, evil, or neutral. An applicant with any criminal taint in his past is usually tossed out into the street, with a warning never to return. For those who measure up, though, joining the Red Death is a simple matter. The faction holds enlistment days once per fortnight, and an applicant need only present himself at the Prison. The day’s candidates gather in a room for a lengthy discussion of the Eight Tenets of Justice. At the end of the day, any berk who still wants to join must swear to each of the tenets. Doing so means he’s henceforth considered a Mercykiller. FACTION ABILITIES. All members of the faction are taught how to defect lie (per the 4th-level priest spell) once per day to a single chosen question. Furthermore, every Mercykiller wizard automatically receives the 1st-level spell shocking grasp (the better to handle obstinate criminals) in addition to all other spells granted by the cutter’s level or Intelligence. And a priest in the Red Death’ll find himself able to^ use the 1st-level speU command, regardless of his Wisdom, granted sph

What’s more, a Mercykiller’s beliefs allow him to impose additional suffering on his foes. Twice a day, a character can tell the DM that he’s dealing his next blow in the name of justice. Whether he’s swinging a sword, casting a spell, or dislodging a rock from overhead, the damage rolled is doubled, including all bonuses. ’Come, this special power doesn’t come without cost. Half of the extra damage caused is immediately subtracted from the PC’s hit points. But a true MercykiUer gladly takes any and all pains in his quest for justice. Another benefit is the faction’s tendency to turn a blind eye to its own violations of the law - to a point. If a Mercykiller commits a crime while pursuing or punishing a known criminal, he’ll consider himself innocent, of course. Justice takes precedence over all. On the other hand, if he commits a crime outside of h i punishment of a felon, he’s subject to the full weight of the law. (To date, not a single Mercykiller has ever refused such sentencing, even the pronouncement is death. - Ed.) The faction’s also developed a dark red liquid that intensifies a body’s guilt;they call it the blood ofjustice. The stuffs said to be made of the blood of the great wyvern kept in the faction’s Tower of the W m . (See In the Cage: tails on the wyvern and the tower. the target’s body, whether he drinks

crimes he’s knowingly compast 24 hours. If the target makes a successful saving throw vs. spell, the blood has no effect. One of the guard captains at the Prison, a hasher named Reggia F‘ylk PI/ 0 human/ FlO/Merrykiuers/LNl, controls the faction’s supply of the blood of stice. A Mercykiller of at one vial per month from her; each vial contains three doses of the

Any Mercykiller factotum of 5th level or higher who shows an extreme aptitude for dispensing justice may he chosen by the facto1 to become IJusticiar. Only the mn